MILAN - Striker Mario Balotelli and
midfielder Andrea Pirlo were the big-name recalls to Italy's
squad on Monday for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia in
Modena on June 3.
The pair have missed recent squads because of injury-hit
seasons but Cesare Prandelli has eagerly brought back two of his
favourite players for the Group C encounter and the friendly
against Ireland four days later in Liege, Belgium.
Pirlo is still contracted to AC Milan for a few more weeks
but has announced he is leaving the Serie A champions with
Juventus his likely destination.
Several other players with uncertain club futures are
included with Sampdoria captain Angelo Palombo there despite his
Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci misses out through
injury meaning Alessandro Gamberini wins a rare call-up in a
squad otherwise containing few surprises.
The Azzurri, dumped out in the group stage of last year's
World Cup as holders, lead Group C by five points as they edge
towards next year's finals in Ukraine and Poland.
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu
(Palermo), Emiliano Viviano (Bologna).
Defenders: Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti
(Palermo), Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Giorgio Chiellini
(Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Alessandro Gamberini
(Fiorentina), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter
Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (Juventus), Claudio Marchisio
(Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta
(Inter), Antonio Nocerino (Palermo), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria),
Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan).
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Manchester City), Antonio Cassano
(Milan), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Sebastian Giovinco
(Parma), Alessandro Matri (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter),
Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal).
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