MILAN - Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has
continued his policy of experimentation by handing debuts to
four players, including Argentina-born midfielder Cristian
Ledesma, for Wednesday's friendly with Romania.
The Lazio midfielder (pictured), who gained Italian citizenship in
2008, will join the likes of Mauro Camoranesi and Amauri in
representing the Azzurri without having been born in Italy.
"I feel 100 percent Italian," he told reporters.
Genoa centre-back Andrea Ranocchia, who could join co-owners
Inter Milan in January given their injury problems, also wins
his first cap when he will be reacquainted with ex-Bari central
defensive partner Leonardo Bonucci - now at Juventus.
Palermo full-back Federico Balzaretti and Brescia's ex-West
Ham United playmaker Alessandro Diamanti will also make their
debuts in the friendly in Klagenfurt, Austria with a number of
experienced players such as Andrea Pirlo rested.
Italy, who top Euro 2012 Group C as they recover from a
woeful World Cup, also have a new look front line given Antonio
Cassano has been omitted from the squad after being suspended by
club side Sampdoria for swearing at their president.
Mario Balotelli returns after injury to spearhead the attack
despite recently being sent off for Manchester City in the
latest episode of immaturity.
"I don't think Mario will suffer tomorrow from the pressure
of all the attention on him," Prandelli said.
Alberto Aquilani is back for the first time since February 2009
but fellow Juve midfielder Claudio Marchisio is out injured.
Team: Emiliano Viviano; Davide Santon, Leonardo Bonucci,
Andrea Ranocchia, Federico Balzaretti; Alberto Aquilani,
Cristian Ledesma, Stefano Mauri; Alessandro Diamanti; Mario
Balotelli, Giuseppe Rossi.
Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho will part company at the end of the current season
Manchester City midfielder called up to the England squad for summer friendlies
Spurs miss out on Champions League again despite highest Premier League points tally
Champions closer to matching Real Madrid's La Liga record of 100 points with 2-1 win
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010