NEWS
Tuesday November 14 2017
Suso given Spain debut

Milan star Suso was given his full Spain debut in a 3-3 friendly with Russia, also featuring Napoli winger Jose Callejon.

These two players will face off against each other in Serie A on Saturday, but were teammates for La Roja this evening.

Suso was in the starting XI for his first senior Spain cap, just a few days before his 24th birthday.

He was replaced at half-time by Napoli wide man Callejon in the 4-3-3 formation.

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NEWS
Tuesday November 14 2017
U21: Italy win Russia thriller

Italy missed a Patrick Cutrone penalty, but completed a comeback to beat Russia in a 3-2 thriller. “We lost our shape,” complained Gigi Di Biagio.

The day after the senior squad failed to qualify for their first World Cup since 1958, losing the play-off 1-0 on aggregate to Sweden, the Azzurrini took to the field in a friendly.

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NEWS
Saturday November 11 2017
Perotti 'relishing' Argentina return

Roma forward Diego Perotti is “relishing every moment” of his return to international duty with Argentina after six years.

The 29-year-old had only two senior caps, earned in 2009 and 2011, but was recalled and came off the bench in today’s 1-0 friendly win in Russia.

“I am so happy to be back playing for Argentina, as I worked so hard to get here,” Perotti told reporters.

“Now I’m relishing every moment.”

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BLOG ITALIA
Wednesday November 8 2017
Buffon comes full circle

If there's one man who can guide Italy through the World Cup play-off, writes Emmet Gates, it's the goalkeeper who made his debut in one 20 years ago.

Gigi Buffon has been here before. Italy haven’t been involved in a play-off for a major international tournament in exactly two decades. In the autumn of 1997, Cesare Maldini’s side slugged it out with Russia for a place at France ’98.

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Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

NEWS
Friday November 3 2017
Luis Alberto earns Spain call-up

Lazio attacker Luis Alberto has been called up to Spain’s squad for friendlies against Costa Rica and Russia over the next fortnight.

Luis Alberto’s run of four assists in Lazio’s last five Serie A games, helping the Aquile fly high in the table, sees him selected by Spain for the first time in his career.

He is joined from the Italian top flight by Napoli winger Jose Callejon and Milan midfielder Suso.

La Roja face Costa Rica on November 11, before travelling to Russia – hosts of next year’s World Cup - three days later.

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NEWS
Thursday November 2 2017
U21: Azzurrini squad for Russia

Gigi Di Biagio called up a 23-man squad for the Italy Under-21 international friendly against Russia on November 14.

The Azzurrini have won their last three on the bounce against Slovenia, Hungary and Morocco.

They will host their Russian counterparts at the Stadio Stirpe in Frosinone on Tuesday November 14 at 17.30 GMT.

There is the debut call-up at Under-21 level for Basel defender Raoul Petretta.

GK: Emil Mulyadi Audero (Venezia), Simone Scuffet (Udinese)

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NEWS
Friday October 20 2017
Higuain still out for Argentina

Argentina have again overlooked Gonzalo Higuain for their squad to face Russia on November 10 but call up five Serie A players, including Mauro Icardi.

Higuain’s poor form for Juve since the start of the season keeps him out of Argentina’s squad, but Coach Jorge Sampaoli assured the striker was in his thoughts for the World Cup next summer.

“Gonzalo’s a player I know well, he has nothing to prove,” he said at a Press conference.

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Tuesday October 17 2017
Throwback: Buffon Italy’s play-off hero

Italy’s last World Cup play-off took place 20 years ago - with a certain Gianluigi Buffon making his debut.

Giampiero Ventura’s side were today drawn against Sweden in the play-offs to reach next summer’s World Cup, a process successfully negotiated by Cesare Maldini’s men in 1997.

The Azzurri had finished a point behind England in Group 2 of UEFA qualification, which meant they were forced to negotiate a play-off round.

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NEWS
Sunday September 3 2017
Italy prepare for World Cup play-offs

Italy are heading for the World Cup play-offs for the first time since 1997, but who are the sides they could face in November?

The 3-0 defeat to Spain last night means snatching top spot in the group is practically impossible and only the winners go through directly to the tournament in Russia.

The runners-up must enter a play-off round, to be played in November.

At least the Azzurri will be seeded in this draw, so should in theory get one of the weaker opponents.

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NEWS
Monday August 7 2017
Lazio eye Russia goalkeeper?

Lazio are reportedly considering a swoop for Zenit St Petersburg and Russia goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin.

According to Tuttosport, Lodygin is “the hottest track that leads to Lazio”, who are looking for another shot-stopper to compete with Thomas Strakosha.

The 27-year-old has made over 100 appearances for Zenit since arriving in 2013 and provided backup to Igor Akinfeev at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.

However, he has been a substitute for Zenit in their four League games under Roberto Mancini.

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