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Gilardino set to captain Italy

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By Richard Hall

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Italy will face the Ukraine in Kiev on Tuesday night and they will do so with a new Captain. Alberto Gilardino has been chosen to lead out the Azzurri and the Fiorentina front man is delighted about the prospect.

ESPN reported that the striker was delighted with the honour: “It is a great reward that the national team gives me,” Gilardino said. “It is an honour considering all those players that have captained the national team in the past. from Fabio Cannavaro to Gigi Buffon.”

Italy beat Slovenia on Friday night 1-0 thanks to a Thiago Motta strike and have now moved six points clear at the top of Group C. With four games remaining they look certain to qualify.

Gilardino will be part of an Italy side that has been much changed by Cesare Prandelli. Giuseppe Rossi of Villarreal and Bologna’s Emiliano Viviano will both start in a team where only defenders Christian Maggio and Giorgio Chiellini and midfielders Roberto Aquilani and Riccardo Montolivo have retained their places.

Gilardino is confident of fulfilling his role both as Captain and centre forward saying that “Among other things Cesare Prandelli knows me well, so he knows what I can give. If he needs me, I'll be there.”

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