Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi Monday awarded medals to the players of the national team squad that brought the country's fourth World Cup back from US President George W Bush plans to offer his congratulations to (Sources: BKP, FIFA)
Italian national soccer team captain, Fabio Cannavaro, holds the soccer World Cup 2006 trophy
The Azzurri landed late afternoon at the military
In his speech held in the courtyard of Palazzo Chigi, Prodi could not spare a reference to the football match-fixing scandal that has rocked Italian football and may lead to the relegation Juventus, AC Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio, who all had players on the national team roster.
"Thanks for giving Italy, a country that too often tends to divide itself, a reason to share a feeling of pride and belonging," Prodi said, adding a call for a "clean up of Italian football."
After the ceremony, the squad were to ride by coach to a Circus Maximus brimming with hundreds of thousands of fans who already had gathered Sunday night at the 2,000-year-old stadium to watch on giant screens as
Captain Fabio Cannavaro, holding the World Cup that
Italy's coach Marcello Lippi smiles as he looks at the World Cup trophy
"I am very happy for celebrating my 100th cap with such a great win," Cannavaro said. "It was a great satisfaction. We saw the images on television (late Monday), we saw
"I think that with a little more rest we will manage to savour this joy," said keeper Gianluigi Buffon. "We have not yet understood the importance of what we did. This was a group who wanted to show that they were hard to beat."
US President George W Bush plans to offer his congratulations to
(Sources: BKP, FIFA)