Sunday, 28 February 2010

Trio handed Azzurri call

Italy coach Marcello Lippi named three new faces in his 23 man squad for Wednesday's friendly match against Cameroon in Monaco.

Leonardo BonucciPalermo goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, Bari defender Leonardo Bonucci and Cagliari midfielder Andrea Cossu were all included in the Italy squad for the first time.

AC Milan striker Marco Borriello returns to the national team after a long absence having last received a call-up in June 2008 while Daniele Bonera, Riccardo Montolivo and Cristian Maggio also return to the fold.

Serie A's leading scorer Antonio Di Natale, who has hit 19 goals in the league so far, is one of the three other strikers in the squad, along with Sampdoria's Giampaolo Pazzini and Napoli's Fabio Quagliarella.

Sirigu will compete with Federico Marchetti and Morgan De Sanctis for the vacant goalkeeper's jersey after first-choice 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon was ruled out of the game with a thigh injury.

Lippi has also been unable to call on the injured Fabio Grosso, Gianluca Zambrotta, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Alberto Gilardino and Gaetano D'Agostino.

The squad will gather for training at the Italian Football Federation's (FIGC) Technical Centre in Coverciano on Monday, before travelling to the Principality of Monaco on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday's game at the Stade Louis II will be the first of three friendlies Italy play before they defend their world title at this summer's FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the FIGC has announced that the Azzurri's official World Cup jersey will be unveiled at a press conference on Monday with the new Puma kit set to make its debut on Wednesday.

Italy squad
Goalkeepers: Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari), Salvatore Sirigu (Palermo).
Defenders: Daniele Bonera (Milan), Leonardo Bonucci (Bari), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Nicola Legrottaglie (Juventus), Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Christian Maggio (Napoli).
Midfielders: Andrea Cossu (Cagliari), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Gennaro Gattuso (Milan), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (Milan).
Forwards: Marco Borriello (Milan), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli).

Source: Reuters

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