AC Milan’s marauding defender Gianluca Zambrotta has been recalled to the Azzurri squad for their upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers against Northern Ireland and Serbia.
Italy national team coach Cesare Prandelli has opted for experience in their upcoming matches as he seeks to maintain the Azzurri’s 100% record in Group C. Zambrotta is one of the few Italian players who seems to be getting with age.
At 33, Zambrotta still has the speed and agility of a teenager. The former Juventus and Barcelona defender has been capped 97 times for his national side scoring twice.
Also included in the line up was Lazio striker Stefano Mauro. Mauro scored the winner against Brescia to take his side top of the Serie A standings on Sunday.
Italy face Northern Ireland on Friday at Windsor Park before hosting Serbia at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris 4 days later. After a horrendous World Cup campaign, the Azzurri’s are looking to win back the support of fans and admirers who were let down by their poor performance.
The players who made the cut were:
Antonio Mirante (Parma), Salvatore Sirigu (Palermo), Emiliano Viviano (Bologna); Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Gianluca Zambrotta (AC Milan), Daniele Gastaldello (Sampdoria), Cesare Bovo (Palermo), Luca Antonelli (Parma); Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Andrea Lazzari (Cagliari), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Stefano Mauri (Lazio), Simone Pepe (Juventus); Marco Borriello (Roma), Antonio Cassano (Sampdoria), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal).
Photo credit: from King-Cole