Cassano is a great guy, says Chiellini

The Juventus defender says his national team-mate is always welcomed by the Azzurri squad and stressed that nobody in the side has a problem with him

Giorgio Chiellini has rubbished rumours of a rift between Antonio Cassano and the rest of the Italy squad.

The Inter striker has forged a bad-boy reputation in Italian football throughout his career, but the Bianconeri centre-back claimed Cassano is always embraced by his national team-mates.

“Here everyone feels at home and Antonio is always welcome,” said Chiellini.

“We are talking about a great guy and certainly we greet before Juve-Inter.

“He is kind and whimsical, but he is a good boy. Here there is a beautiful atmosphere [with the national squad] and Prandelli has already explained the motivation of the side."

Italy are currently four points clear of Bulgaria at the top of Group B in World Cup 2014 qualification, with 10 points to their name after beating Denmark 3-1 on Tuesday night.