NEWS
Tuesday February 8 2011
Prandelli reunites Cassano-Pazzini

Cesare Prandelli announced the Italy line-up against Germany, including Thiago Motta, Giampaolo Pazzini and Antonio Cassano.

The Azzurri travel to Dortmund for Wednesday evening's international friendly and already know their initial XI.

“Gigi Buffon plays in goal, with Mattia Cassani, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Ranocchia and Giorgio Chiellini in defence,” explained the Coach during his Press conference.

“Riccardo Montolivo, Thiago Motta and Daniele De Rossi in midfield, then Stefano Mauri, Cassano and Pazzini in attack.”

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NEWS
Monday February 7 2011
'Cassano knows it's his last chance'

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli claims Antonio Cassano is under no illusion that this is his last chance to shine at the highest level.

Cassano was called up to La Nazionale on Sunday for the first time since his epic falling out with Sampdoria President Riccardo Garrone in late October.

The 28-year-old allegedly swore at Garrone and refused to attend an awards ceremony held in his honour, prompting Sampdoria to ask that his contract be rescinded.

Eventually the matter was resolved in December when Milan opted to take Cassano off Samp's books.

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NEWS
Monday February 7 2011
Prandelli wanted five from Palermo

Palermo would have had five players in the Italian squad for this week's German friendly had injuries not struck.

According to reports this evening, Italy boss Cesare Prandelli was hoping to select defenders Cesare Bovo and Federico Balzaretti in the squad.

Prandelli phoned the duo on Saturday to enquire about their availability, but the pair had to decline the call-up for fitness issues.

High-flying Palermo did have three other players named in the party though for the midweek game in Germany.

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NEWS
Monday February 7 2011
Prandelli on the new faces

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has explained his thinking behind calling up new boys Thiago Motta, Alessandro Matri and Sebastian Giovinco.

All three players received their first Azzurri call-ups on Sunday ahead of Wednesday's international friendly against Germany.

Inter star Motta, the latest Oriundo, was expected to be included even though Italy had to get clearance from FIFA given that he had appeared for a Brazilian Under-23 side in his career.

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NEWS
Sunday February 6 2011
Gomez pulls out of Germany-Italy

Mario Gomez has pulled out of Germany's upcoming friendly against Italy due to an injury.

The striker had originally been called up for Wednesday night's international test in Dortmund.

He pulled out after picking up a left knee injury while playing for Bayern Munich, but Coach Joachim Loew will not call a replacement.

Cesare Prandelli is set to name his Italy squad for next week's game later today.

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NEWS
Sunday February 6 2011
Thiago Motta, Giovinco, Matri for Italy

Cesare Prandelli has named his squad for the Germany friendly, including newcomers Sebastian Giovinco, Alessandro Matri and Thiago Motta.

Italy travel to Dortmund for the international test on Wednesday and the Coach is taking the opportunity to perform a few experiments.

Thiago Motta becomes the latest of the ‘Oriundi' – players of South American origin – to earn an Italy call in recent years.

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NEWS
Saturday February 5 2011
Report: Motta given Italy clearance

It's reported FIFA have given the all-clear for Inter midfielder Thiago Motta to play for Italy next week.

The Brazilian has long been admired by Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli and should receive his first call-up for the international friendly against Germany.

On Thursday FIGC President Giancarlo Abete confirmed he had lodged the paperwork to have Thiago Motta ready for this match on February 9.

According to the latest reports, FIFA have given the all-clear for the cap.

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NEWS
Friday February 4 2011
Germany squad for Italy friendly

Michael Ballack has not been included in the Germany squad for their friendly against Italy, but there are plenty of other stars.

Joachim Löw has called 22 players for the international test in Empoli on Wednesday February 9.

Ballack is not included, as the 34-year-old is still recovering from a long-term injury.

Cesare Prandelli will name his Italy squad for this match over the weekend.

Goalkeepers: Rene Adler, Manuel Neuer

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NEWS
Thursday February 3 2011
FIFA to rule on Motta eligibility

FIFA are to judge whether Inter midfielder Thiago Motta can in fact play for Italy.

The 28-year-old Brazilian recently spoke with Cesare Prandelli to express his desire to wear Azzurro.

Motta has an Italian passport and a call up for this month's friendly with Germany looked on the cards.

However, there is a problem in that he played two matches for a sort of Under-23 Brazil side at the Gold Cup in 2003.

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NEWS
Wednesday February 2 2011
Buffon to make Italy 'debut'

Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon has likened his return to international duty to making his debut for Italy all over again.

The veteran shot stopper was out for seven months after suffering a back injury at the World Cup in South Africa last summer.

He returned to action last month and has been called up to play in a friendly against Germany.

"I've been through some tough and difficult months," Buffon said. "The back surgery, the physiotherapy and the varied training sessions…

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