Antonio Cassano And Mario Balotelli Called Up For Italy Friendly Against Ivory Coast

A new era has begun...
Newly appointed Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has called up Sampdoria trequartista Antonio Cassano and Inter striker Mario Balotelli for the friendly international against the Ivory Coast at Upton Park in London on August 10.

Cassano was frozen out of the Azzurri squad by former coach Marcello Lippi but the 28-year-old has been called up by Prandelli for his first match in charge of the national side. Balotelli, who has not yet made his senior debut for the former European and world champions, too has been included in the 23-man team.

Other new faces in the squad are Brazilian-born Juventus striker Amauri, Bologna goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano, Milan's Luca Antonini, Cagliari's Davide Astori and Andrea Lazzari, Sampdoria's Stefano Lucchini, and Stuttgart's Cristian Molinaro.

Many of the old players from the 2010 World Cup have been dropped. Juventus striker Vincenzo Iaquinta has not been selected as he is nursing an injury.

However, Villarreal hitman Giuseppe Rossi and Milan's Marco Borriello return.

Here is the full list of players:

Goalkeepers: Marchetti (Cagliari), Sirigu (Palermo), Viviano (Bologna)

Defenders: Antonini (Milan), Astori (Cagliari), Bonucci (Juventus), Cassani (Palermo), Chiellini (Juventus), Lucchini (Sampdoria), Molinaro (Stoccarda), Motta (Juventus)

Midfielders: De Rossi (Roma), Lazzari (Cagliari), Marchisio (Juventus), Montolivo (Fiorentina), Palombo (Sampdoria), Pepe (Juventus)

Strikers: Amauri (Juventus), Balotelli (Inter), Borriello (Milan), Cassano (Sampdoria), Quagliarella (Napoli), Rossi (Villarreal).

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