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Monday, September 7, 2015

Italy Men's National Soccer Team News


September 6, 2015 - Daniele De Rossi scores in win over Bulgaria
"Italy took a crucial step towards UEFA EURO 2016 qualification from Group H as a 1-0 scoreline against Bulgaria belied the hosts' dominance in a comfortable victory. Daniele De Rossi struck a composed penalty on six minutes before being sent off along with Bulgaria's Ilian Mitsanski ten minutes into the second half." - UEFA

September 3, 2015 - Graziano Pellè scores in win over Malta
"Italy 1-0 Malta... Graziano Pellè's goal on 69 minutes ended Malta's resistance and lifted Antonio Conte's side level on points with Croatia at the Group H summit.... Italy continued to attack after the break and threatened when Manolo Gabbiadini curled a wonderful strike from the edge of the area with his left foot. Hogg could only watch the ball hitting the bar to his right. The Maltese goalkeeper, however, had less luck when Pellè deflected in with his shoulder following a neat cross from the right by substitute Antonio Candreva." - UEFA

August 29, 2015 - roster named for Malta & Bulgaria matches
  • Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Daniele Padelli (Torino FC), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain FC) 
  • Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (US Sassuolo Calcio), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (FC Zenit), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United FC), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Manuel Pasqual (ACF Fiorentina), Andrea Ranocchia (FC Internazionale Milano) 
  • Midfielders: Andrea Bertolacci (AC Milan), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Alessandro Florenzi (AS Roma), Marco Parolo (SS Lazio), Andrea Pirlo (New York City FC), Roberto Soriano (UC Sampdoria), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain FC) 
  • Forwards: Antonio Candreva (SS Lazio), Éder (UC Sampdoria), Stephan El Shaarawy (AS Monaco FC), Manolo Gabbiadini (SSC Napoli), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Ciro Immobile (Sevilla FC), Graziano Pellè (Southampton FC), Franco Vázquez (US Città di Palermo), Simone Zaza (Juventus)
March 28, 2015 - Eder scores equalizer in draw with Bulgaria
"Eder scored a scorching late goal on his debut to give Italy a 2-2 draw in Bulgaria.... It took just 20 seconds for Ciro Immobile to go clear on goal, his angled drive deflected past the far post. The deadlock was broken soon after, as Bertolacci’s cross was only flapped by Nikolai Mihaylov, ricocheting off Yordan Minev into the net from six yards. Moments later Mihaylov flew to palm away an Antonio Candreva free kick, but the aggressive start didn’t pay off because Bulgaria equalised. Ivelin Popov was allowed too much space by a Leonardo Bonucci error and unleashed a strike from distance that flew into the bottom corner. Bulgaria then turned the game around completely, Popov again going forward centrally on the counter, then spreading to the right for a Georgi Milanov cross that Ilian Micanski nodded in by getting in front of Andrea Barzagli.... Eder marked his debut with a stunning goal and silenced the debate over Oriundi. The Sampdoria man gathered with his back to goal just outside the box, turned his marker and curled a sensational finish into the far top corner." - Football Italia

November 18, 2014 - Stefano Okaka scores in win over Albania
"Stefano Okaka scored on his debut to help Italy beat Albania 1-0 in a friendly match in Genoa on Tuesday. Okaka headed home a corner seven minutes from time after Italy had missed a string of opportunities. Sokol Cikalleshi had sent an effort crashing off the post in the first half for Albania." - Star-Telegram
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/11/18/6299015/italy-beats-albania-1-0-in-friendly.html#storylink=cpy

November 12, 2014 - injury updates
"Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has left Italy's training camp due a left thigh muscle injury, ruling him out of Sunday's key European Championship qualifier against Croatia. No immediate replacement was called up by Italy coach Antonio Conte, who already had injury problems in midfield. Passing wizard Andrea Pirlo is also out with an injured left thigh and Riccardo Montolivo has still not returned from left leg surgery. Daniele De Rossi and Claudio Marchisio are likely starters, with Milan's Giacomo Bonaventura and Lazio's Antonio Candreva among the other possibilities." - The State
Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2014/11/12/3806727/italy-midfielder-verratti-to-miss.html#storylink=cpy

November 9, 2014 - Mario Balotelli called up
"Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been named in an Italy squad for the first time since the FIFA World Cup™ finals. The 24-year-old, who left AC Milan for Anfield in the weeks that followed Italy's early return from Brazil, played no part in the first four games of Antonio Conte's reign as Azzurri boss. Balotelli returns to contention for a UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier against Croatia and the subsequent friendly meeting with Albania, while Atletico Madrid's former Torino winger Alessio Cerci is also recalled. A statement on the Italian Football Federation's official website revealed a first call-up for Torino defender Emiliano Moretti, and uncapped midfielders Andrea Bertolacci of Genoa and Roberto Soriano of Sampdoria will also hope to feature alongside young Empoli defender Daniele Rugani.Southampton hotshot Graziano Pelle retains his place having scored on his Italy debut against Malta." - FIFA

October 13, 2014 - Graziano Pelle scores in win over Malta 
"Striker Graziano Pelle scored on his debut to earn a 1-0 away win over 10-man Malta with the visitors having hit the woodwork four times in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Monday. The Southampton striker, one of four changes made by Antonio Conte after Friday's laboured 2-1 home win over Azerbaijan in Group H, struck from close range midway through the first half." - Reuters 

October 10, 2014 - Giorgio Chiellini scores for all in win over Azerbaijan
"Giorgio Chiellini scored twice for Italy and netted an own goal for Azerbaijan in a 2-1 win in a European Championship qualifier as the Azzurri remained perfect under new coach Antonio Conte. Azerbaijan defended with 10 men and Italy had trouble creating opportunities until Chiellini took advantage of an error by the goalkeeper to give the Azzurri the lead in the 44th minute. Chiellini then scored into his own net in the 76th minute as he attempted to defend a corner kick but he made up for his error by heading in again eight minutes from the end." - Daily Mail

October 9, 2014 - Osvaldo and Motta out
"Pablo Daniel Osvaldo and Thiago Motta have withdrawn from Italy's squad for their upcoming Euro 2016 qualifying double header. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced on their official website on Thursday that Inter forward Osvaldo has suffered an adductor injury. It is not yet known how long the 28-year-old will be out of action, but reports suggest he could be sidelined for up to a month. Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Motta is also unavailable to coach Antonio Conte for the matches against Azerbaijan on Thursday and Malta next Monday as he is suffering with tendinitis. The FIGC confirmed that both players will now to return to their clubs for treatment." - Goal

October 6, 2014 - Andrea Pirlo unretires
"Andrea Pirlo has been recalled to the Italy squad for their Euro 2016 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Malta following an injury to Giacomo Bonaventura. The 35-year-old wasn't named in the original selection but returns in place of the AC Milan midfielder, who was forced to leave the Azzurri's training camp after picking up a thigh problem. The Juventus veteran announced his international retirement in June on the back of Italy's World Cup group stage exit but changed his mind after Antonio Conte replaced Cesare Prandelli." - Goal

October 4, 2014 - roster updates
"Graziano Pellé is called up and Mario Balotelli dropped for Italy’s Euro 2016 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Malta. Antonio Conte named his squad for the two internationals, as Azerbaijan play in Palermo on October 10 and the Azzurri visit Malta on October 13. As expected, Southampton centre-forward Pellé received his debut senior Italy call-up after a splendid start to his Premier League career. The same cannot be said of Balotelli, who is again ignored by ex-Juventus Coach Conte due to his poor work-rate. Conte also gave a maiden call for Empoli defender Daniele Rugani, while Milan’s Giacomo Bonaventura, Thiago Motta of PSG and Fiorentina’s Manuel Pasqual earned recalls. Sassuolo striker Simone Zaza, Borussia Dortmund’s Ciro Immobile and Inter striker Daniel Osvaldo are called. Roma forward Mattia Destro and Juve’s Sebastian Giovinco are included despite barely featuring at club level." - Football Italia

September 9, 2014 - Zaza & Bonucci score in win over Norway
"Italy beat Norway 2-0 in its opening European Championship qualifier on Tuesday as Antonio Conte extended his winning start as coach. Simone Zaza scored his first international goal in the 16th minute as Italy showed little sign of missing suspended striker Mario Balotelli. Strike partner Ciro Immobile was offside and in the goalkeeper's line of vision, but the referee waved away Norway's protests. Leonardo Bonucci doubled Italy's lead shortly after the hour mark. Zaza also hit the crossbar late on and had an effort cleared off the line. 'I've had a dream week,' Zaza said. 'Now my aim is to remain in this squad and continue doing well'." - Coast Reporter

September 4, 2014 - Immobile & De Rossi score in win over Netherlands
"Italy made a bright start under Antonio Conte as goals from Ciro Immobile and Daniele De Rossi gave it a 2-0 win over the 10-man Netherlands.... Immobile quickly gave Italy the lead when Bonucci's hopeful punt split Martins Indi and Stefan de Vrij. Cillessen came charging out of his goal, but Immobile had enough time to round the Netherlands goalkeeper before tapping in with his left foot to open his account for Italy. Wesley Sneijder curled an effort over at the other end but it was a rare sight of goal for the Netherlands, which quickly found itself down to 10 men when Martins Indi — the last man — brought down Zaza. De Rossi promptly rolled his effort into the bottom-left corner. Hiddink swapped Jeremain Lens for defender Joel Veltman in a bid to stem the flow of goals, and while that was successful, the change did little to halt Italy's momentum." - Goal

June 14, 2014 - Marchisio & Balotelli score in win over England
"Italy withstood late England pressure to open their 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign with a 2-1 victory in energy-sapping Manaus.... A corner on the right was pulled to the edge of the box, where Andrea Pirlo let it run through his legs to Marchisio, with time to take a touch and drill a low shot through two England players' legs and into the net. The response was immediate, and it was that man Sterling who sparked it, freeing Wayne Rooney down the left. The forward crossed to the far post where Sturridge converted on the half volley. Back came Cesare Prandelli's side. In first-half added time, Balotelli had a fine chip from an acute angle cleared off the line by Phil Jagielka, and from the resulting corner Antonio Candreva hit the base of the post. Soon after the restart the pair combined for Italy's second, Candreva cutting in from the right and delivering a cross which Balotelli, peeling away from Gary Cahill, headed in at the far post." - UEFA

June 13, 2104 - Andrea Pirlo to retire from international play
Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo, who was a member of the country's 2006 World Cup champion squad, is set to hang up his cleats in international competition following the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Pirlo announced his plans during a press conference, but he did say he will continue to play on the club level with Juventus. The 35 year old signed a new two-year deal with the Serie A club earlier this week. 'When I play football, I always aim to go all the way,' Pirlo said while addressing the media. 'I never settle for just getting through the group stage and reaching the last 16 -- the aim is always to get the maximum, which means going all the way. We've got a very competitive side and we'll give it our all, then I think I'll finish after the World Cup. I'm at a certain age now where it's time to move over and leave room for the others. It wouldn't make sense continuing'." - Sports Illustrated

June 12, 2104 - injured Mattia De Sciglio to miss England match
Italy have confirmed defender Mattia De Sciglio will not feature in their FIFA World Cup™ opener against England on Saturday because of an injury. The AC Milan player was hurt during Thursday's training session and was taken to a nearby hospital to have an MRI. 'Defender Mattia De Sciglio, after today's (Thursday) training session in Portobello, has sustained a muscle strain in his left thigh,' Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci said. 'The player underwent an MRI this afternoon at Angra dos Reis and the test has revealed an oedema in his left femoral biceps. De Sciglio will not be available for the first game against England.' Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is unlikely to replace De Sciglio, despite having taken Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia as a reserve player to Brazil. The Azzurri can make a substitution because of an injury 24 hours prior to their World Cup debut. De Sciglio has been ruled out for the Group D opener but is expected to recover in time for the clash with Costa Rica on June 20." - FIFA

June 8, 2014 - Ciro Immobile scores a hat-trick in win over Fluminense
"Ciro Immobile scored a hat-trick and had two assists as Italy laboured past Brazilian club side Fluminense 5-3 in a World Cup warm-up match on Monday. The Azzurri had entered on a seven-match winless streak and the game was deadlocked at 2-2 at halftime before Italy scored three goals in a two-minute span at the start of the second half. Lorenzo Insigne opened the scoring in the 23rd and Chiquinho equalised two minutes later. Immobile scored his first in the 31st then Carlinhos equalised in the 37th. Immobile put Italy ahead for good in the 53rd then scored again a minute later before crossing to Insigne for an easy tap in the 55th." - Adelaide Now

June 4, 2014 - Marchisio scores in draw with Luxembourg
"Italy's final World Cup warm-up match ended in a surprise 1-1 draw against minnows Luxembourg. Claudio Marchisio headed in Mario Balotelli's cross to put Italy ahead. They looked set for victory until the 85th minute when ex-Sheffield United defender Maxime Chanot nodded in. The Azzurri, who open their Group D campaign against England on 14 June, leave for Brazil on the back of two poor displays, having drawn 0-0 against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday. Coach Cesare Prandelli, hit by the recent loss of key midfielder Riccardo Montolivo with a broken leg, experimented with a new formation. Juventus playmaker Andrea Pirlo and Paris St-Germain's Marco Verratti played together in midfield in front of Daniele De Rossi, while Marchisio and Antonio Candreva supported lone striker Balotelli." - BBC

June 1, 2014 - World Cup roster named
Goalkeepers: 
  • Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
  • Mattia Perin (Genoa)
  • Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St. Germain) 
Defenders: 
  • Ignazio Abate (Milan)
  • Andrea Barzagli (Juventus)
  • Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
  • Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
  • Matteo Darmian (Torino)
  • Mattia De Sciglio (Milan)
  • Gabriel Paletta (Parma) 
Midfielders: 
  • Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina)
  • Antonio Candreva (Lazio)
  • Daniele De Rossi (Roma)
  • Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
  • Thiago Motta (Paris St. Germain)
  • Marco Parolo (Parma)
  • Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)
  • Marco Verratti (Paris St. Germain) 
Forwards: 
  • Mario Balotelli (Milan)
  • Antonio Cassano (Parma)
  • Alessio Cerci (Torino)
  • Ciro Immobile (Torino)
  • Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)
May 31, 2014 - Riccardo Montolivo suffers broken leg
"Italy midfielder Riccardo Montolivo will miss the World Cup after breaking his left leg during the 0-0 draw with Republic of Ireland at Craven Cottage. The AC Milan player, 29, was carried off on a stretcher after a challenge from Reading defender Alex Pearce. Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci said: 'I haven't seen the X-ray yet to evaluate the extent of it, but for a broken bone you can expect surgery'."- BBC

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