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Rossi makes the cut

ROME, May 12 – Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi was the only new name in defending champions Italy's 30-man provisional World Cup squad, announced on Tuesday by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).The 23-year-old, who has scored three goals in 14 international appearances, was the only addition to the 29-man group that was summoned to a 48-hour get-together in Rome last week.

Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi missed the rendezvous in the capital due to his participation in the Italian Cup but he has returned to the squad.

Rossi takes the place of Juventus centre-back Nicola Legrottaglie, who has often been called up by Italy coach Marcello Lippi but who has failed to hold down a first-team place with his Turin club this season.

As Lippi had announced on Monday, there were "no surprises" in the list, with Roma captain Francesco Totti, in-form Sampdoria playmaker Antonio Cassano and controversial Inter Milan forward Mario Balotelli all overlooked.

There was no place either for Luca Toni, Lippi’s first-choice striker at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, who is currently on loan at Roma from Bayern Munich.

Ten players from Italy’s triumph at the last World Cup are in the squad: goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, defenders Fabio Cannavaro, Fabio Grosso and Gianluca Zambrotta, midfielders De Rossi, Mauro Camoranesi, Gennaro Gattuso and Andrea Pirlo and forwards Alberto Gilardino and Vincenzo Iaquinta.

Lippi will trim his list to 23 and four reserves in Rome on May 18 before submitting his definitive 23-man squad to FIFA by June 1.

Italy, four-time champions, will set up a training camp at altitude in Sestriere in the Alps from May 23 to June 5.

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They will take on Mexico in a friendly game in Brussels on June 3 and Switzerland in Geneva two days later.

The Azzurri are scheduled to arrive in South Africa in June 9 ahead of their Group F opener with Paraguay in Cape Town on June 14.

Italy face New Zealand in Nelspruit on June 20 before rounding off their group campaign against Slovakia in Johannesburg on June 24.

Provisional 30-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari), Salvatore Sirigu (Palermo)

Defenders: Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Leonardo Bonucci (Bari), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Fabio Grosso (Juventus), Christian Maggio (Naples), Gianluca Zambrotta (AC Milan)

Midfielders: Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Antonio Candreva (Juventus), Andrea Cossu (Cagliari), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan)

Forwards: Marco Borriello (AC Milan), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal/ESP)

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