Football

2014 FIFA World Cup - The teams qualified so far

The 2012 Euro runners-up will be aiming to tie Brazil's record in 2014 (©GettyImages)
The 2012 Euro runners-up will be aiming to tie Brazil's record in 2014 (©GettyImages).

Italy - UEFA

World Cup Appearance: 18th

Best Performance: Winners (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006)

Key Players: Andrea Pirlo, Mario Balotelli, Giorgio Chiellini

Despite having potentially the most treacherous group, Italy have emerged from Group B undefeated thus far and easily through to next year's World Cup.

A 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic last night saw the Azzurri qualify for their 18th World Cup and they'll have their sights set on matching Brazil's record of five World Cup victories.

The key men for them remain the same from Euro 2012 - Andrea Pirlo's influence in the midfield is vital to their success, as is the explosiveness of former Manchester City star Mario Balotelli. It'll be up to Juventus stalwart Giorgio Chiellini to lead the defence for Italy.

Topics:
Brazil Football
Lionel Messi
Football
Neymar
World Cup

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