Vincenzo Iaquinta - Italy
Dangerous in the air and on the ground, Vincenzo Iaquinta is a powerful forward who can operate down the centre channel or out on the right wing. His first Serie A outing came with Udinese at the relatively late age of 21. Over the next three seasons he struggled to impose himself in Udine, scoring a mere 11 goals in 61 league appearances. Happily, all that would change in the following four campaigns, during which time he became one of the best strikers in the Italian top flight, hitting over ten goals a season.
The chance to represent his country duly came in a friendly against Iceland in March 2005, Marcello Lippi acknowledging his ability to run into space, his unselfish team play and his power. He would go on to make five appearances at Germany 2006, scoring a goal in Italy's 2-0 defeat of Ghana in the group phase. He thus became the second Udinese player to pick up a FIFA World Cup™ winners medal in the Italy No15 shirt, midfielder Franco Causio being the first 24 years earlier.
Iaquinta has continued to progress since completing a move to Juventus in 2007, and despite stiff competition for places remains well in contention for striking duties with the Azzurri. Iaquinta looks good in a suit (and probably really good out of one), but he also looks good as a champion who helped his team win the 2006 World Cup. He's ready for another victory. And another haircut, it seems.
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