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Friday, July 07, 2006

FIFA World Cup Finals: Italy v France

Sports News, Football Updates, Entertainment News
Italy defender Alessandro Nesta has been ruled out of the World Cup final in Berlin because of a groin injury.

The AC Milan centre-back has missed Italy's last three matches after aggravating a long-term injury in Italy's 2-0 win over Czech Republic.

Marco Materazzi continues in defence alongside skipper Fabio Cannavaro.

France's Zinedine Zidane and Lilian Thuram will play their final games for Les Bleus after confirming their retirement from international football.

Italy (probable): Buffon; Zambrotta, Grosso, Cannavaro, Materazzi; Gattuso, Camoranesi, Pirlo, Perrotta; Totti; Toni.

France (probable): Barthez; Sagnol, Abidal, Thuram, Gallas; Makelele, Vieira, Malouda, Ribery, Zidane; Henry.

Italy's Nesta has suffered injury setbacks in all three of the World Cups in which he has played - he missed Italy's second round defeat to South Korea four years ago and was also injured for the quarter-final exit to France in 1998.

Former Everton defender Materazzi stood in against Czech Republic and Germany, while Palermo centre-back Andrea Barzagli covered in the quarter-final against Ukraine.

Midfielder Daniele De Rossi returns from a four-match ban for elbowing USA forward Brian McBride in the face during the first round, although he isn't expected to start.

Italy are the designated home team and will sport their familiar home blue colours, while France will play in white for the fourth match in a row.


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