Penpix of Italy squad

MILAN, May 20 (Reuters) - Penpix of Italy's 28-man provisional squad for the World Cup in South Africa:

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus). Goalkeeper. Born Jan. 28 1978. Caps 100.

Arguably still one of the best goalkeepers in the world but injury and Juve's poor form this season have affected his confidence. An ageing defence could leave him exposed but he is still commanding in the air and an excellent shot stopper.

Federico Marchetti (Cagliari). Goalkeeper. Born Feb. 7 1983. Caps 4.

Emerged as Buffon's deputy after two impressive seasons in Sardinia. Still lacks international experience and is classed as a young, up-and-coming player in Italy despite being 27.

Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli). Goalkeeper. Born March 26 1977. Caps 3.

Almost certain to be the third-choice keeper, De Sanctis has produced a string of steady displays in Serie A this term and never looks flustered.

Salvatore Sirigu (Palermo). Goalkeeper. Born Jan. 12 1987. Caps 0.

Became a regular with Palermo only at the start of the season under the tutelage of Walter Zenga but when the former Italy keeper was sacked Sirigu kept his place thanks to a string of mature displays beyond his years.

Gianluca Zambrotta (AC Milan). Full back. Born Feb. 19 1977. Caps 92. Goals 2.

The World Cup winner is a favourite of coach Marcello Lippi despite not always being first choice at Milan this term because of form and fitness worries. Can play on either side but is likely to be right back.

Christian Maggio (Napoli). Right back/right wing. Born Feb. 11 1982. Caps 3. Goals 0.

Can play in defence or midfield and his speedy runs could offer Italy an alternative they do not otherwise have. Good eye for goal.

Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus). Centre back. Born Sept. 13 1973. Caps 132. Goals 2.

The 2006 world player of the year is a shadow of the defender who led the Azzurri to World Cup glory four years ago. His pace, positioning and poise are now lacking. Italy's captain is expected to quit the international game after the tournament.

Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus). Centre back. Born Aug. 14 1984. Caps 28. Goals 2.

Will partner club team mate Cannavaro in Italy's defence having won many admirers at home and abroad for his never-say-die attitude. A goal threat from corners.

Mattia Cassani (Palermo). Centre back. Born Aug. 26 1983. Caps 2. Goals 0.

Little known outside Sicily, the defender has caught Lippi's eye even if other observers would look straight through him.

Leonardo Bonucci (Bari). Centre back. Born May 1 1987. Caps 1. Goals 0.

Made his debut in Italy's last friendly with Cameroon with Lippi short of defensive cover. Excellent at last-gasp tackles and a rare example of an Italian young player getting playing time in Serie A and reaching the national squad.

Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa). Centre back. Born Nov. 30 1986. Caps 3. Goals 0.

A rare young player given a chance by Lippi, he can also play at full back but has suffered r