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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Italy vs. Brazil: Meet Sunday's 22 Likely Starters

BRAZIL





TAFFAREL (Claudio Andre Taffarel) -- Club Reggiani, Italy, age 28, caps 76. Goalkeeper. Taffarel has played in all six of Brazil's games so far but has yet to make a spectacular save.


JORGINHO (Jorge de Amorim Campos) -- Bayern Munich, 29, 61. Defender. A one-time bad boy who frequently got himself into trouble on and off the field in his younger days, Jorginho says his life and career were transformed when he became an evangelical. A solid, powerful full-back, he has been one of the most dependable players in the tournament.


ALDAIR (Aldair Nascimento Santos) -- Roma, Italy, 28, 26. Defender. Originally a third- choice center-back, Aldair got into the team following successive injuries to Ricardo Gomes, Ricardo Rocha and Mozer. He has responded well to the challenge.


MARCIO SANTOS (Marcio Roberto dos Santos) -- Bordeaux, France, 24, 32. Defender. The other half of an improvised center-back partership, formed in the face of injuries to the three first choice central defenders.


BRANCO (Claudio Ibrahim Vaz Leal) -- Fluminense, 30, 75. Defender. Lost the left back position to Leonardo through poor form before the competition but was brought back into the team for the quarter-final against the Netherlands when Leonardo was suspended.


DUNGA (Carlos Caetano Bledorm Verri) -- Stuttgart, Germany, 30, 54. Midfielder. He came into the competition with a reputation as the hard man of the Brazilian midfield and has lived up to it with stirring, if unartistic, performances.


MAZINHO (Iomar do Nascimento) -- Palmeiras, 27, 39. Midfielder. Like Jorginho, an evangelical who puts his success in life down to his faith in God. Came into the side in the second round when coach Carlos Alberto Parreira lost faith in Rai, his midfield general.


MAURO SILVA (Mauro da Silva) -- Deportivo la Coruna, Spain, 26, 42. Another tough midfielder almost impossible to shake off the ball. Silva, who has a degree in computer science, is one of the more articulate members of the team.


ZINHO (Crizam Cesar de Oliveira Filho) -- Palmeiras, 27, 38. Midfielder. A diminutive, tricky midfielder, Zinho has been kept in the team despite huge criticism of his performances in the World Cup but has slowly improved as the tournament has progressed.


BEBETO (Jose Roberto Gama de Oliveira) -- Deportivo, 30, 73. Striker. Had a disastrous World Cup in 1990 when he played for just seven minutes as a substitute and was then sidelined by a training-session injury. But the featherweight striker has been instrumental in Brazil's campaign, scoring three goals and setting up numerous other chances. A family man whose third child was born during the competition, he also has a huge collection of dogs, cats and parrots at his home in Rio de Janeiro.


ROMARIO (Romario de Souza Faria) -- Barcelona, 28, 45. Striker. Five goals and the inspiration of the Brazilian team, despite having to endure six weeks away from his beloved Rio and the beaches where he spends most of his spare time playing "foot-volleyball." He has shown a professionalism and selflessness many thought beyond him.





ITALY





GIANLUCA PAGLIUCA -- Sampdoria, age 27, caps 22. Pagliuca is a reliable and athletic goalkeeper who has recovered from a disastrous World Cup. Pagliuca does not have a regular girlfriend, but his mother came out to support him in New York and promised to return for the final.


PAOLO MALDINI -- AC Milan, 26, 57. Defender. Maldini has moved from left back and taken over as captain from Baresi in this World Cup and gave his best performance in that role in the semifinal win over Bulgaria.


ANTONIO BENARRIVO -- Parma, 25, 13. Defender. One of the revelations of the competition, his speedy sorties from the full-back position have added an extra dimension to the Italian game.


LUIGI APOLLONI -- Parma, 27, 3. Defender. A tall man with shaggy ginger hair, Apolloni somehow looks cut out for his role of stopper. A surprise choice when Sacchi opted for an extra defender, he stepped into the limelight when Baresi was injured.


ROBERTO MUSSI -- Torino, 30, 4. Full-back Mussi cannot have dreamed of playing in the World Cup final 12 months ago, when he had not won an international cap. Sacchi remembered him from their days together at Milan and the experienced club professional has not let anyone down at the World Cup.


DEMETRIO ALBERTINI -- AC Milan, 22, 21. Midfielder. Strong tackler whose passing and reading of the game are improving enormously, marking him out as a great prospect. Played a storming game in the semifinal against Bulgaria. A shy young man who appears somewhat ill at ease with the World Cup media atttention.


DINO BAGGIO -- Juventus, 22, 19. Midfielder. No relation to Roberto Baggio, indeed Dinone (Big Dino) is sometimes referred to as Albertini's twin for the two 22-year-olds are similar in style on the field and equally down-to-earth off it. Baggio has a habit of scoring important goals for Italy and has netted twice here.


NICOLA BERTI -- Internazionale, 27, 32. Midfielder. A survivor of the 1990 World Cup squad, Berti has fought back after missing much of last season with a serious knee injury. Something of a dandy off the field, daily Corriere dello Sport recently listed his hobbies as "fashion and women."


ROBERTO DONADONI -- AC Milan, 30, 56. Midfielder. A familiar figure to fans around the world with his curly black hair and clever dribbling skills wide in midfield.


ROBERTO BAGGIO -- Juventus, 27, 42. Striker. His ups and downs have mirrored the agonizing progress of the Italians to the final. Substituted after Pagliuca was sent off against Norway and scorned by the world's media for his poor performances in the opening round matches, the pony-tailed Buddhist came good at the key moment with late strikes which secured victory over Nigeria and then Spain and two gems against Bulgaria to make it five goals in three games. A shy and reserved man, he burst into tears at the final whistle in the semifinal.


PIERLUIGI CASIRAGHI -- Lazio, 25, 19. Striker. Returned for the semifinal and gave a typical hard-running display. He is not the most gifted of players and lacks pace but his strength and power especially in the air help to bring out the best in Baggio.


(Reuters)