At the end of it all, Italy finished on top thanks to a real team effort. Twenty-one of Lippi's 23-man squad played and ten of them found the net at these finals. With a defence built around goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and captain Fabio Cannavaro, Italy defended as well as any side in FIFA World Cup history, conceding just two goals – one an own goal, the other a penalty.
There much was else to admire, from the silk-and-steel midfield combination of Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso, to the swashbuckling raids of full-backs Gianluca Zambrotta and Fabio Grosso. It was the Grosso's goal that swung a superb semi-final against Germany the Italians' way and his penalty that sealed victory in the Final.
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