Thursday, 6 August 2009

[U21] Casiraghi begins new era

Italy Under-21 coach Pierluigi Casiraghi has named nine new players in his squad for next week's friendly with Russia.

Federico MachedaCasiraghi is preparing a new group of players for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign and has called up Manchester United's 17-year-old striker Federico Macheda for the first time.

The former Lazio youth team starlet played a pivotal part in his clubs English Premier League title success, scoring twice at the end of last season.

Macheda is joined in the 20-man party for Wednesday's match in St Petersburg by fellow U21 debutants Davide Brivio, Matteo Gentili, Marco Mancosu, Mattia Mustacchio, Angelo Ogbonna, Andrea Rispoli, Giuseppe Signori and Christian Tiboni.

With a whole host of players now no longer eligible because of their age, Casiraghi was only able to recall the likes of Mario Balotelli, Lorenzo De Silvestri and Alberto Paloschi to provide some experience.

The players will start gathering in Rome on Sunday evening before flying out to Russia on Monday afternoon to prepare for Wednesday's match at the Petrovsky Stadium, which kicks off at 1400 UK time (+1hr for Italy/CET).

Italy, who reached the semi-finals of this year's European Under-21 Championships in Sweden, begin their qualifying campaign for the 2011 tournament in Denmark against Wales on 4 September.

The Azzurrini are in
qualifying Group 3, which also contains Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary and Luxembourg.

Italy squad
Goalkeepers: Vincenzo Fiorillo (Sampdoria), Andrea Seculin (Fiorentina).
Defenders: Lorenzo Ariaudo (Juventus), Davide Brivio (Vicenza), Lorenzo De Silvestri (Lazio), Matteo Gentili (Varese), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino), Andrea Ranocchia (Bari), Andrea Rispoli (Brescia).
Midfielders: Antonino Barilla (Reggina), Francesco Bolzoni (Genoa), Marco Mancosu (Empoli), Andrea Poli (Sampdoria), Giuseppe Signori (Sampdoria).
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Inter), Davide Di Gennaro (Milan), Federico Macheda (Manchester United), Mattia Mustacchio (Sampdoria), Alberto Paloschi (Parma), Christian Tiboni (Atalanta).

Source: FIGC

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