Friday March 18 2011
Panucci wants Cannavaro call-up

Christian Panucci is astonished that Napoli defender Paolo Cannavaro is not a part of the Italian national set-up.

"To not give a chance to Cannavaro after the season he has had is hard to explain," noted the former Azzurri international.

"I don't think it is a case of Italy boss Cesare Prandelli not liking him, but Prandelli should think about Paolo.

"He's really grown in the last few years and deserves a call-up. His form is consistently high and it's right that he should be selected."

The Napoli stopper, the younger brother of 2006 World Cup winning captain Fabio, has been in decent form for the San Paolo outfit during a wonderful campaign to date.

"The idea that his age is a factor makes me laugh," Panucci continued. "He is 29 and I played at a European Championship when I was 35. He's just a boy…

"Italy is one of the few countries in the world where a player in form is unable to get a place in the national side.

"After all, I didn't go to the 2006 World Cup because the Coach at the time, Marcello Lippi, didn't like me."

Prandelli will name his next Italy squad on Sunday for Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia and the friendly with the Ukraine four days later.