There are several surprise new faces in the 32-man long-list for Italy at Euro 2012, including Mattia Destro, Antonio Di Natale, Ezequiel Schelotto and Marco Verratti.
Coach Cesare Prandelli named his squad this evening, although the Juventus, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain players won’t begin training until next week, as they still have official commitments at club level.
Novelties include Rubin Kazan defender Salvatore Bocchetti and Udinese veteran Di Natale, who have not played under Prandelli’s reign before.
The real surprises are in younger players who have not figured in the senior Italy squad, such as Siena striker Destro, Juventus man Emanuele Giaccherini, Atalanta winger Schelotto, 19-year-old Pescara creative midfielder Verratti and Bologna midfielder Alessandro Diamanti.
Giorgio Chiellini’s presence depends on tests, as he limped off during today’s 3-1 win over Atalanta with a suspected thigh strain.
The list will be cut down to the final 23 for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine on May 29.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that Gigi Riva will not be travelling with the Italy squad for this competition due to ill health.
Goalkeepers:Buffon (Juventus), De Sanctis (Napoli), Sirigu (Paris St. Germain), Viviano (Palermo);
Defenders:Abate (Milan), Astori (Cagliari), Balzaretti (Palermo), Barzagli (Juventus), Bocchetti (Rubin Kazan), Bonucci (Juventus), Chiellini (Juventus), Criscito (Zenit San Pietroburgo), Maggio (Napoli), Ogbonna (Torino), Ranocchia (Inter);
Midfielders:Cigarini (Atalanta), De Rossi (Roma), Diamanti (Bologna), Giaccherini (Juventus), Marchisio (Juventus), Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Paris St. Germain), Nocerino (Milan), Pirlo (Juventus),Schelotto (Atalanta), Verratti (Pescara);
Forwards:Balotelli (Manchester City), Borini (Roma), Cassano (Milan), Destro (Siena), Di Natale (Udinese), Giovinco (Parma)