NEWS
Sunday October 22 2017
Zaza to get Italy-Sweden call

Simone Zaza will reportedly be recalled for Italy’s World Cup play-off against Sweden after matching Liga scoring records for Valencia.

The Azzurri must get past Sweden if they are to participate in the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer.

Torino striker Andrea Belotti was given the all-clear to resume athletic work from next week after a check-up showed the knee ligaments are healing well.

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Friday October 20 2017
Tite: ‘Jorginho? It’s up to him…’

Brazil Coach Tite confirms he spoke to Jorginho - “I told him he’ll have to be the one to make the decision”.

The Napoli midfielder has been capped twice by Italy, but both came in friendlies so he’s still eligible for the nation of his birth.

Jorginho wasn’t called up to the latest Selecao squad, but the Coach has spoken to him.

“I spoke personally with Jorginho after a meeting with the Federation and after I’d watched him,” Tite explained in his Press conference.

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Friday October 20 2017
FIFA to change cap rules?

FIFA are reportedly considering changing international cap rules, to allow players to switch allegiances.

As things stand, one a player has played a competitive game for one nation he is ineligible to represent another, aside from newly created countries such as Kosovo.

Frosinone goalkeeper Samir Ujkani played for Albania, but switched to Kosovo when the national team was given permission by FIFA to play against FIFA member associations in international friendlies.

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Friday October 20 2017
Report: Italy eye Sporting stopper

Sporting CP defender Cristiano Piccini is reportedly on Italy’s radar after his performance against Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The story made the front page of Portuguese newspaper Record, which explains Italy assistant Coach Salvatore Sullo was at the Allianz Stadium to watch Piccini in action.

Tuttomercatoweb also rated the right-back’s display as ‘excellent’, although Sporting ultimately lost 2-1 to Juve after having taken the lead.

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Friday October 20 2017
Donadoni: Turned down Italy, Milan…

Roberto Donadoni claims he rejected the chance to coach Italy a second time and that “Milan have never considered me to be on their level.”

Donadoni won six Scudetti and three European Cups with Milan as a player between 1986 and 1996, before leading Italy to the Euro 2008 quarter-finals and re-establishing Bologna as a Serie A side over the past two seasons.

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Friday October 20 2017
Gab: Italy have 51% chance

Manolo Gabbiadini admits he ‘misses’ Italy, who have a “51 percent chance” in the World Cup playoffs, but believes Southampton can take him to Russia.

In the second half of his interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Gabbiadini revealed “it was an honour” to play for Napoli and that he “fell in love” with Bologna but lamented how he could not take his son to Serie A games “out of fear”.

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Friday October 20 2017
Zaza ‘won’t give up on Italy’

Simone Zaza has pledged “to do better and score more goals” for an Italy recall and thanked his Valencia teammates for his prolific start to the season.

Zaza scored four goals last month to win La Liga’s Player of the Month award for September and has a total of seven for the campaign, helping Valencia into second place after eight games, but his exploits so far in 2017-18 have yet to be recognised by Italy boss Giampiero Ventura.

“Messi? There’s no-one else like him,” the striker told Gazzetta dello Sport.

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Thursday October 19 2017
Andersson: 'Sweden will beat Italy'

Former Serie A striker Kennet Andersson believes Sweden will get the better of Italy in the World Cup play-offs, “but I wanted to see both in Russia.”

The nations will go head-to-head with the first leg in Stockholm on November 10 and the return at San Siro on November 13.

“As soon as I saw the draw I thought 'damn it'. Not because I think Sweden are inferior to Italy but because I hoped to see both teams in Russia next summer,” Andersson told Calciomercato.com.

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Thursday October 19 2017
Verdi: ‘Italy are favourites, but…’

Simone Verdi admits “on paper Italy should be favourites” against Sweden but they’re “a team to approach with caution”.

The Azzurri finished second behind Spain in their World Cup qualifying group, so must go through the play-offs to make it to Russia.

Tuesday’s draw handed them perhaps the toughest possible opponent in the shape of the Swedes, and Verdi isn’t underestimating the Scandinavian nation.

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Thursday October 19 2017
‘Three to four weeks for Belotti’

Andrea Belotti’s doctor says his injury should last “three to four weeks”, but fears the Torino and Italy striker could be rushed back.

Il Gallo went off with a knee injury against Verona at the start of this month, ruling him out of the Azzurri’s last two World Cup qualifiers.

Giampiero Ventura is now sweating over whether the striker will be available for the play-offs against Sweden and his doctor fears he could be rushed back.

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