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Italy's Hottest Soccer Players Part IV: 2010 World Cup Edition

worldcup_teamWith the 2010 World Cup starting in T-minus five days, I thought it was time for another installment of my hottest Italian footballers series. Now, attentive readers may notice that doing another post about hot Italian soccer players at this moment means I’m a bit out of sync. See, to stop the nagging from the boys in my office, every time I posted pictures of Italian soccer greats in their skivvies up on the site I would then follow it up with a post about some of the beautiful Italian women who date and/or marry soccer stars – and I haven’t yet written part 3 of the “WAGs” posts to complement part 3 of the footballers posts. So I’m going on the record as saying that I owe the guys two posts on the lovely ladies, okay?
The thing is, I can’t pass up the opportunity to get to know the Italy World Cup team a little bit better. Which is why I thought for the 4th installment of the hot footballers series I’m covering the 2010 Italy World Cup team – all 23 of them.
And yeah, I’ll say it – not all of these guys are equal on the gorgeous-ometer. In fact, as you’ll see, coach Marcello Lippi clearly didn’t base his team decisions on who posed for photographs most often without shirts on (seriously, it’s nigh unto impossible to find pictures of some of these guys when they’re not playing soccer – what’s up with that?). Still, overall, I’d say the Italian team would win the World Cup of Hotness without much competition.
Also? This is partly about eye-candy, yes, but it’s also educational (look! I’m multi-tasking!) in that the following list is broken down by the position they play (not that kind of position, people) and the teams they play for are listed in parentheses after their names. You’re welcome.
>> I now only owe the guys one post on hot Italian women who date soccer players, because my article on the World Cup Blog about the wives and girlfriends of the 2010 Italian World Cup squad is up.
>> This list of 23 Italian soccer players not enough for you? Check out the first three posts in the series – part one, part two, and part three.
>> Oh, and if you’re interested in the game and not just the hot bodies that happen to don the Italy World Cup jersey, then let me point you to the World Cup Blog – a sister site with more soccer info, opinions, and fun news than you’ll find anywhere else on the web.

2010 Italy Goalkeepers

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

Italy’s #1 keeper has a broody side, apparently. And we like that.

Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli)

I’m not kidding when I say all I know about Morgan De Sanctis is that every time I hear his name I think, “Wait, he’s Italian?”

Federico Marchetti (Cagliari)

I wonder if Federico’s channeling a leopard with that shirt. Rowr…

2010 Italy Defenders

Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa)

Young Salvatore was in my 3rd list of Italian soccer hotties, so you already know I like him.

Leonardo Bonucci (Bari)

Leonardo is one of a couple players on this year’s squad I’d never heard of before, but it appears from this picture he’s being eaten alive by multiple sweaters.

Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus)

I don’t think Canna can live up to his 2006 performance this year, but I do love that smile. Yeah, it’s just the smile I’m looking at. Right. You can see, I’m sure, why Cannavaro was on my first list of hot Italian footballers.

Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)

I’ll admit this isn’t the best picture of Chiellini out there, but since it’s the only one I could find that shows off his shirtless chest, I went with it. (Incidentally, our pal Giorgio is very 21st century – he’s on Twitter.)

Domenico Criscito (Genoa)

Okay, Domenico’s cute. He is. But fergodsake will someone get this kid an iron before the World Cup starts?

Christian Maggio (Napoli)

Perhaps if Maggio does well in this year’s World Cup, it will be easier in the future to find more flattering pictures of him online.

Gianluca Zambrotta (Milan)

Zambrotta’s best years may be behind him now soccer-wise, but I think he’s still got plenty of time to be on my hotties list. (In fact, he was on the second list I made.)

2010 Italy Midfielders

Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus)

If you watched the 2006 World Cup, you may remember Camoranesi as the one who got an impromptu ponytail-ectomy on the field after Italy won. The ponytail is fully regrown now – in anticipation of another haircut, perhaps?

Daniele De Rossi (Roma)

De Rossi is one of those rare Italian blonds (well, rare as far as I can tell in the soccer world), and he’s got the piercing blue eyes to match.

Gennaro Gattuso (Milan)

Dear Dolce & Gabbana – Thank you for having a modeling contract with AC Milan and for making Gattuso pose like this for a photo. Love, me. (Why couldn’t I find this picture when I made my first Italian hot soccer stars post?? Why?!?)

Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)

I was starting to think Claudio was another one of those players who’s tough to capture on film, as many of the pictures of him are – I’ll call them un-becoming. Then I noticed he has quite a prominent role in the new Dolce & Gabbana underwear ads in Italy (scroll to the bottom for the goods on that ad campaign). And hoo-boy, this one’s a hottie. I thought he had fabulous eyes before, but now – let’s just say I’m fond of more than just his baby blues.

Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina)

And speaking of eyes – uh, hello, Riccardo.

Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria)

You’ll forgive me if I sometimes confuse Angelo here with Simone just below. Angelo keeps his head shorn almost all the time, but when Simone shaves his head it’s a little confusing…

Simone Pepe (Udinese)

Here’s what Pepe looks like when he’s doing his best Angelo Palombo imitation. Pretty good, huh? Other times he’s got a full head of black hair. We’ll see what he shows up in South Africa with.

Andrea Pirlo (Milan)

If you’ve heard me talk about soccer for any length of time, you’ll know Pirlo is my guy. (Well, mine and his wife’s. I’m generous like that.) He can do no wrong. End of story.
Note: At this writing, Pirlo is injured and doubtful for the World Cup, but hasn’t been ruled out entirely. Yet. If that changes, I’ll come back and update this post with his replacement. And then I’ll weep.

2010 Italy Forwards

Antonio Di Natale (Udinese)

Oh, look, Antonio’s an airplane. A very cute airplane. So cute he made my second list of hot footballers.

Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina)

Seriously, it’s almost impossible to not find pictures like this of Gilardino.

Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus)

Yes, I found one or two slightly better pictures of Iaquinta online, but I thought this one was adorable. Look! He can use a computer!

Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria)

Pazzini was on my first list of Italian footballer hotties, and I still think he’s all kinds of lovely to look at.

Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli)

Unfortunately for Fabio here, his nickname in the English press of “Quags” is decidedly ugly. Fortunately for him, he is not.

More Dolce & Gabbana Underwear Ads

And I just noticed this – there’s a new set of Dolce & Gabbana ads featuring Italian soccer players – and all five of the guys in the ads ended up making the team. Which means you get another chance to see their gorgeousness. In their underwear, no less.
Left to right, the photo features Antonio di Natale, Federico Marchetti, Domenico Criscito, Vincenzo Iaquinta, and Claudio Marchisio. Oh, and after the photo there’s a video of the photo shoot.
You’re welcome again.