The FI Index – Azzurri player ratings – Italy 1-1 Paraguay

Rain and wind engulfed Cape Town on a night that saw The Azzurri stumble against Paraguay in a game that saw Buffon leave the field with a back injury and Italy conceding from a set piece. Lippi’s change of formation did see De Rossi cancel out Alcáraz’s opener although questions will be asked about the starting eleven before the nest game against New Zealand.

Buffon

1 Gianluigi Buffon

Position: Goalkeeper

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 45/90

Rating (game): 5.5/10

Still a contender for the world’s best goalkeeper Buffon had a quiet start to the game. He was called on only for the basics of which he did with his usual efficiency. Paraguay’s goal, courtesy of an Alcáraz’s free header left the Juventus number one helpless on 39 minutes and no blame can be attributed for this, however half time saw him leave the field with a back injury and get replaced by Cagliari’s Marchetti.

Zambrotta

19 Gianluca Zambrotta

Position: Right Back

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 90/90

Rating (game): 7.5/10

Zambrotta looked like he had a point to prove in the first fifteen minutes as he got forward well and was obviously following Lippi’s instructions. He had two good deliveries before slowly reverting into a more defensive role. However, any time he pushed forward he looked dangerous and his deliveries were testing Paraguay’s defence. He was just as influential later on in the game when Lippi switched to a 4-4-2.

Cannavaro

5 Fabio Cannavaro

Position: Center-back

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 90/90

Rating (game): 7.5/10

The Italian captain was the best player in the early stages of this game rolling back the years with a very strong and assured start. A superb tackle on the 24th minute typified his early commitment which saw him even getting forward in some instances. The Paraguay goal however, saw Cannavaro fail to track the run from Alcáraz, although blame maybe contributed to De Rossi. The second half saw more of the same with the Captain linking well with Chiellini, between them keeping the South Americans at bay.

Chiellini

4 Giorgio Chiellini

Position: Center-back

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 90/90

Rating (game): 7/10

Like Cannavaro, Chiellini had a solid performance, dealing with everything that was thrown at him and looking especially competent in the air. On 51 minutes he gave away a cheap foul and a few miss placed passes followed. Even so he can lay claim to a very composed display.

Criscito

3 Domenico Criscito

Position: Left-back

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 90/90

Rating (game): 7/10

In the early stages Criscito lost possession cheaply but regained his confidence quickly and started to produce a good performance. Getting forward twice first on 27 minutes and then just minutes after he looked like he was mirroring Zambrotta. However, he possibly followed his lead to much and reverted into a defensive role after this in turn not conforming to Lippi’s tactics. All in all though Criscito looked older than his years and can be pleased with his performance.

Pepe

7 Simone Pepe

Position: Right Wing

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 90/90

Rating (game): 8/10

Straight from the off Pepe looked like he was going to cause Paraguay problems with some sublime skill on only twelve minutes. He went a little quiet with only a good free kick on 22 minutes to talk about before being moved to the left at half time. The second half saw him in a much more cavalier state of mind delivering four good corners one of which lead to Italy’s equaliser. He moved back to the right wing on when Camoranesi came on but was just as consistent, testing the keeper on 79 minutes.

DeRossi

6 Danielle De Rossi

Position: Center-midfield

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 90/90

Rating (game): 8/10

By his own admission De Rossi was at fault for the Paraguay goal by not attacking the ball from the free kick. For a man who is good in the air he neither attempted to connect with the ball nor did he push out in unison with the rest of the Italian back line. The rest of De Rossi’s game however was excellent as he had a superb first 30 minutes and he was the main man in the midfield who looked dangerous. The equaliser saw him follow the ball well from a corner and tap home after the ball evaded the opposition goalkeeper. He sat back deep after the goal and helped contain any pressure brought on by Paraguay.

Marchisio

15 Claudio Marchisio

Position: Center-midfield

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 58/90

Rating (game): 5/10

Marchisio found a lot of space in the first 15 minutes but did not receive any of the ball. This seemed to impact him as after this he was generally out of the game. Subbed on 58min he can look back on the game safe in the knowledge that his deliveries were good when he made them, however, his movement was poor and this extradited him from the game.

Montolivo

16 Riccardo Montolivo

Position: Center-midfield

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 90/90

Rating (game): 7/10

At the start of the game Montolivo looked sharp and produced some good lively passing, a good break on 20 minutes saw him shoot straight at the keeper after a good break. De Rossi’s movement forward and Marchisio’s lack of positioning meant that he had to play very deep in the first half. The second half saw him come into his own a bit more and saw him manage two more attempts on goal, the second bringing a save and winning a corner on the 81st minute.

Iaquinta

9 Vicenzo Iaquinta

Position: Center-left wing

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 90/90

Rating (game): 6/10

The Juventus hit-man seemed uncomfortable in his position out on the left in the first half and despite some efforts to cut inside he found himself wandering inside at a time when the full backs were not attacking. When Lippi changed position to a 4-4-2 he seemed like a different player and much more at ease although he still did not threaten the opposition goal enough.

Gilardino

71 Alberto Gilardino

Position: Forward

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 71/90

Rating (game): 5.5/10

The good season he had with Fiorentina did not follow him to South Africa today. The formation perhaps did not suit him as he found himself coming deep far too often to receive the ball. Some good passes to the out to the flanks when the full backs attacked early on were his only real contribution to an otherwise quiet game, subbed on 71 minutes he will be looking to give much more if picked next time round.

Marchetti

12 Federico Marchetti

Position: Goalkeeper

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 45/90

Rating (game): 6/10

Marchetti did what was asked of him when he replaced Buffon at half time. Everything he did he did well and kept a clean sheet in the second half. No saves to make but he will take confidence in his first World Cup outing.

Camoranesi

16 Mauro Camoranesi

Position: Center-midfield

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 32/90

Rating (game): 6.5/10

As soon as Camoranesi came on he changed the game providing urgency with a deep cross that made the keeper work on 59min. He gave the Azzurri much more width and put in a lot of effort and a lot of running. A few bad challenges, one of which saw him receive a yellow card saw could be seen as over enthusiasm but he will need to calm down for the reminder of the group games.

DiNatale

10 Antonio Di Natale

Position: Forward

Minutes played (game/tournament total): 19/90

Rating (game): 5.5/10

71 min saw Udinese’s top scorer enter the fray and he immediately looked busy running for every ball and making a general nuisance of himself. Poor passing was a problem and he ended up having a frustrating end to the game.

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