Friday, 6 February 2009

[U21] Balotelli keeps his spot

Italy Under-21 coach Pierluigi Casiraghi has selected Inter's enigmatic striker Mario Balotelli in his 19-man squad for a friendly against Sweden next week.

The Azzurrini will take on the Swedes in Trieste on Wednesday evening as they prepare for this summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championships in the Scandinavian country.

Despite his recent troubles with club coach Jose Mourinho, Balotelli has been called up to represent his nation.

Sassuolo's 19-year-old midfielder Andrea Poli, on loan from Sampdoria, gets his first call-up while Juventus' Claudio Marchisio and Napoli's Fabiano Santacroce return following injuries.

The players will gather on Monday morning to prepare for Wednesday's match at the Stadio Nereo Rocco, kicking off at 2000 UK time (+1hr for Italy/CET).

Italy squad
Goalkeepers: Andrea Consigli (Atalanta), Salvatore Sirigu (Ancona).
Defenders: Marco Andreolli (Sassuolo), Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Marco Motta (Roma), Francesco Pisano (Cagliari), Fabiano Santacroce (Napoli).
Midfielders: Ignazio Abate (Torino), Antonio Candreva (Livorno), Luca Cigarini (Atalanta), Daniele Dessena (Sampdoria), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Piermario Morosini (Vicenza), Andrea Poli (Sassuolo).
Forwards: Robert Acquafresca (Cagliari), Mario Balotelli (Inter), Sebastian Giovinco (Juventus), Daniel Pablo Osvaldo (Bologna).

Source: C4 Football Italia

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