ITALY COACH Cesare Prandelli has today trimmed his squad to 25 players ahead of tomorrow’s UEFA deadline for submitting Euro 2012 lists.
The current list of players have been selected for tomorrow’s friendly against Luxembourg in Parma. The two who don’t make the final cut wil be kept on as reserves.
Earlier in the day Italian Federation vice-president Demetrio Albertini revealed that Zenit St Petersburg left-back Domenico Criscito would not be part of the squad.
The 25-year-old was implicated in a match-fixing investigation launched by the Cremona public prosecutor and had his hotel room at Italy’s Coverciano base just outside Florence searched at dawn by police. Uncapped youngsters Ezequiel Schelotto and Marco Verratti were two of those dropped alongside Criscito from the original 32-man list.
The others were Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano, Rubin Kazan defender Salvatore Bocchetti, Cagliari defender Davide Astori and Atalanta midfielder Luca Cigarini. Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli and AC Milan forward Antonio Cassano were predictably amongst those selected, as were veterans Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo.
Uncapped forward pair Mattia Destra of Siena and Juventus’s Emanuele Giaccherini both made the cut, as did Torino’s Angelo Ogbonna. The 24-year-old of Nigerian descent is the only player in the squad not playing top flight football. Apart from Balotelli, goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu and Brazilian-born midfielder Thiago Motta, who both play for Paris Saint-Germain, are the only other players not plying their trade in Italy.
Italy are in Group C with holders Spain, Ireland and Croatia.
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli).
Defenders: Cristian Maggio (Napoli), Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Federico Balzaretti (Palermo),Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter Milan), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino).
Midfielders: Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Alessandro Diamanti (Bologna).
Strikers: Antonio Cassano (AC Milan), Mario Balotelli (Manchester City), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Mattia Destro (Siena), Fabio Borini (Roma).