Saturday, 18 August 2007

Italy turn to Curci and Aquilani

Roma goalkeeper Gianluca Curci and midfielder Alberto Aquilani have been called up to the Italy squad for Wednesday's friendly against Hungary in Budapest.

Coach Roberto Donadoni promotes the pair from the Under-21 squad as the world champions prepare for next month's decisive Euro 2008 qualifiers against France and Ukraine. Italy are second in Group B, two points behind France. It is the first squad Donadoni has named since veterans Francesco Totti and Alessandro Nesta retired from international football.

The Azzurri coach has, however, been able to call on experienced strikers Filippo Inzaghi, the hero of AC Milan's Champions League final victory against Liverpool in May, and Luca Toni, who are both in excellent form. Inzaghi scored both his side's goals in their 2-0 win against Juventus in the Luigi Berlusconi tournament on Friday, while Toni scored his second of the Bundesliga campaign in a 4-0 win against Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Italy squad:
Goalkeepers: Marco Amelia (Livorno), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Gianluca Curci (Roma).

Defenders: Andrea Barzagli (Palermo), Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid), Fabio Grosso (Lyon), Marco Materazzi (Inter), Oddo (Milan), Christian Zaccardo (Palermo), Gianluca Zambrotta (Barcelona).

Midfielders: Massimo Ambrosini (Milan), Alberto Aquilani (Roma), Aimo Diana (Palermo), Gennaro Gattuso (Milan), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Andrea Pirlo (Milan).

Forwards: Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Filippo Inzaghi (Milan), Fabio Quagliarella (Udinese), Luca Toni (Bayern Munich).

Source: UEFA

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