After filling in for injured No1 Gianluigi Buffon at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, Federico Marchetti appeared to have cemented his place as Italy's second-choice goalkeeper. Now, however, he is down to third in the pecking order, having missed the entire 2010/11 season after an ill-fated transfer request.

 

Marchetti, from Bassano del Grappa in the region of Veneto, rose through the youth system at Torino before turning professional in 2002. Six long seasons followed in the lower divisions of Italian football, a period in which he was never able to show the full extent of his talent.

 

In 2008/09, however, Marchetti joined Cagliari, and in his first season in Serie A was voted Italy's goalkeeper of the year. His no-frills approach, speed off his line and confident handling quickly caught the eye of then Italy coach Marcello Lippi, who gave him his first cap in a 3-0 victory over Northern Ireland on 6 June 2009.

 

Lippi then wasted no time in installing Marchetti as understudy to Gianluigi Buffon. And at South Africa 2010, following an injury to Buffon in Italy's match against Paraguay, Marchetti seized his chance and deputised in goal for the rest of the tournament.

 

Marchetti returned to Cagliari but soon handed in a transfer request, hoping to join Sampdoria, who had qualified for the preliminary rounds of the UEFA Champions League. The request was refused and he was frozen out of the squad, missing the whole of the following season as a result.

 

He eventually joined Lazio in 2011 and has since regained his rhythm. For now, however, he must content himself with being Italy's third-choice goalkeeper, with Paris Saint-Germain's Salvatore Sirigu now established as Buffon's deputy.