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NOTES

Seven Italians Make All-Stars

July 08, 2006|From the Associated Press

Forwards Francesco Totti and Luca Toni were among seven Italians on the 23-man World Cup All-Star squad, which also included Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry of France. The squad, selected by FIFA's Technical Study Group, was announced two days ahead of the championship match between Italy and France.

Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta, Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso also made the team from Italy, and Lilian Thuram was a fourth French player.

Ze Roberto was the only Brazil player included after the defending champions were knocked out in the quarterfinals.

Host Germany had four players on the squad, including captain Michael Ballack, striker Miroslav Klose and goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.

Rounding out the team were goalkeeper Ricardo, defender Ricardo Carvalho and midfielders Luis Figo and Maniche of Portugal; defender Roberto Ayala and forward Hernan Crespo of Argentina; and defender John Terry of England.

Germany striker Lukas Podolski was named the best young player.

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German captain Ballack is out, and backup goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is in.

While third place is all that's at stake now, Germany still hopes to give its fans one final World Cup celebration today in its match against Portugal. They'll have to do it without their versatile leader Ballack, who has an inflamed left knee and will sit out the game in Stuttgart.

Kahn, meanwhile, gets his first World Cup minutes since the 2002 final, when he was between the posts during Germany's 2-0 loss to Brazil.

"We owe him that gesture, and no one in the world is going to begrudge him that," Coach Juergen Klinsmann said Friday.

Kahn, a 37-year-old national hero, was voted FIFA's outstanding player at the 2002 World Cup, but the tournament ended on a sour note when his blunder led to a Brazil goal.

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