World Cup 2014: Player profile - who is Andrea Barzagli, the Italy defender?
Counting down the 100 players to look out for in Brazil this summer
Friday 14 March 2014
The World Cup in Brazil is coming into view and everyone is hoping this summer's carnival can take its place among some of the great tournaments of the past, but who will be the star of the show?
With 90 days to go until things kick-off, check out our latest instalment of 100 players to look out for at the competition below.
90. Andrea Barzagli (Italy)
Juventus centre-back Barzagli has spent most of his professional career in his native Italy before sealing a move to German outfit Wolfsburg in 2008. After a three-year stay, he headed back to his home country to Italian giants Juventus where he would become an integral part of their title-winning 2011/12 and last year.
His positional sense is a key aspect of his performance and benefits from the notorious lack of intensity in Italy’s top division. After debuting for the national side in 2004, he was part of Marcelo Lippi’s 23-man squad for Germany in ’06 and played the entire 90 minutes during the Azzurri’s quarter-final win over Ukraine. Of course, Italy went onto life the trophy that year, earning Barzagli a World Cup winners’ medal.
He’s a strong passer of the ball, vital for a centre-half in modern day football, and has so far appeared for The Old Lady 21 times domestically this season. At 32 years old, Brazil 2014 may well see Barzagli make his last appearance in a major tournament for the four-time World Cup winners.
Did you know? Despite helping Wolfsburg win the 2008/09 Bundesliga championship, Barzagli was not selected for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa
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