£20m Liverpool flop believes he can shine at World Cup

Alberto Aquialni believes he is ready to start at the World Cup this summer.

One of the first players Brendan Rodgers quickly got off the payroll when he took over at Anfield was Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani.

The midfielder was signed from Roma by Rafa Benitez for £20 million in 2009 but did so under something of a cloud. He was brought in as a replacement for Xabi Alonso despite his tendency to play further up the pitch not to mention an ongoing ankle problem that saw him waiting till November to make his Premier League debut.

In the end he only started nine Premier League games for the Merseyside club and spent two seasons out on loan with Juventus and AC Milan before completing a move to Fiorentina in August 2012.

Since joining La Viola he has been in superb form - working his way into the Italian set up once again with some excellent performances in Serie A.

This summer he is on his way to the World Cup with the Azzurri - and could now have a big role to play in Brazil.

Ricardo Montolivo, himself a former Liverpool transfer target, broke his leg in a recent friendly against Republic of Ireland meaning there is scope for a potential breakthrough into the first team for this Liverpool flop.

And he himself has alluded to that fact recently, telling Italian media:

"I think I can do the role of Montolivo. Changes in form? Friendlies in the coach experiences, but I think that in the head already has the method of play of the team."

But he will need to do better than he did against Luxembourg this week. Italy drew 1-1 with the minnows, with Aquilani letting his man get in front of him for the equalising goal - a result that even gives England hope.

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