Italy call-up for Di Natale

Italy call-up for Di Natale
By Reuters

14/05/2012 at 07:35Updated 15/05/2012 at 00:55

Striker Antonio Di Natale, whose last Italy appearance was at the 2010 World Cup, was included in their provisional squad for Euro 2012 along with four uncapped players.

Di Natale, 34, has not played for his country since Cesare Prandelli replaced Marcello Lippi following Italy's first-round exit in South Africa, despite finishing as Serie A top-scorer with unfashionable Udinese in the previous two seasons. He is also among the leading scorers this season with 23 goals. The last of those strikes helped secure Champions League football for the unfashionable northern club for a second straight season.

There were no surprise omissions with Mario Balotelli making the list despite warnings about his disciplinary and off-the-field problems.

Antonio Cassano, who has started playing for AC Milan again after undergoing heart surgery in October, was also included.

The four uncapped players were 19-midfielder Marco Verratti who plays in Serie B for Pescara, Argentine-born Ezequiel Schelotto, Mattia Destro and Emanuele Giaccherini

Fabio Borini and Alessandro Diamanti have one appearance apiece.

Verratti is one of two Serie B players along with defender Angelo Ogbonna of Torino.

The Italian federation (FIGC) said the final 23-man squad would be announced on May 29.

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St Germain), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo)

Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti (Palermo), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Salvatore Bocchetti (Rubin Kazan), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorigo Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Zenit San Petersburg), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter)

Midfielders: Luca Cigarini (Atalanta), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Alessandro Diamanti (Bologna), Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Paris St Germain), Antonio Nocerino (Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Ezequiel Schelotto (Atalanta), Marco Verratti (Pescara)

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Manchester City), Fabio Borini (AS Roma), Antonio Cassano (Milan), Mattia Destro (Siena), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma)