Tuesday March 19 2013
Antonelli's 'Azzurri dream'

Luca Antonelli has returned to the Italy squad for the first time in three years and the Genoa man is enjoying this Azzurri “dream.”

The full-back last represented his country in 2010, but received a surprise call-up from Cesare Prandelli for the friendly against Brazil and World Cup qualifier in Malta.

“I am experiencing this in a wonderful way, as it is a dream for every player to be in the Nazionale. Mattia De Sciglio is also very talented and it’s up to us to confirm our place in the squad.”

He is the son of former Milan, Genoa and Roma midfielder Roberto Antonelli, but insisted his father has little career advice.

“My Dad rarely gets involved in my work, other than to say I should listen to my Coach, the director of sport and my older teammates. I too started in the youth academy as a striker, then changed to become a defender.

“Last year was shocking due to injuries, but I worked hard all summer, feel good and hope to get as many points as possible with Genoa,” continued Antonelli.

“I had to be off the field for a long time with lumbago problems, but I have recovered now. Things are going well with Genoa, we changed a great deal under Davide Ballardini.

“I don’t think that I need to join a bigger club to stay in the Italy squad. I am happy at Genoa and hope to stay for many years. Getting into the Nazionale depends on the player, not the team.

“Even if I do not play against Brazil or Malta, it is important for me to be here. I just hope to keep doing well from here to the end of the season so I can earn a place in the Confederations Cup squad.”

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with