World Cup 2006: Players to watch

Gennaro Gattuso (Italy):

Gennaro Gattuso started made his breakthrough at Rangers in Scotland, winning a league title and a Scottish Cup. In later years, Gattuso developed into a battling midfielder, whose aggression on the pitch earned him the nickname ‘Ringhio’ (growl). After returning to Italy he earned a transfer to AC Milan, where he matured into an industrious force in the Rossoneri midfield, equally comfortable in a central role or on the right wing. With Milan, he won the 2003 UEFA Champions League as well as the 2004 Serie A title.

Marco Materazzi (Italy):

Tall and tough, the Sicilian-born Marco Materazzi was picked up by Perugia and then made a surprise move to Everton. He later returned to Perugia and, as a penalty taker, scored an impressive 12 goals in the 2000/01 season. This prompted Inter to splash out more than 10m for the defender. Materazzi, a Coppa Italia winner in 2005 and 2006, is the perfect understudy to Alessandro Nesta and Fabio Cannavaro in the Italy squad. He featured at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, coming on as a substitute in the 2-1 defeat by Croatia, and he also played at UEFA EURO 2004.