Italy coach Marcello Lippi has cut his World Cup squad to 28 players.

He reduced his short-list for the trip to South Africa by cutting Juventus flops Fabio Grosso and Antonio Candreva, but the media continues to discuss his refusal to pick Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano.

Lippi said: "The Nazionale is the team of dreams and everyone should want to be here, but they also need to earn it with their attitude and a spell at the highest level.

"Some say Italy's squad is not up to the quality of Brazil, Argentina or England, but it seems to me that many of these players were shelved for months even by their club Coaches.

"Do you think that with them we can bridge that 'gap' with the other sides, or do we achieve that by going to a tournament with a united, strong and solid squad, as we did in other occasions?

"I think we can do well with the excellent players that are a part of this expedition and with a united front."