Euro 2012 qual. - Cigarini, Barzagli in Italy squad

Sun, 02 Oct 19:26:00 2011

Atalanta midfielder Luca Cigarini and Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli were the surprise names included in Cesare Prandelli's 23-man squad for Italy's final Euro 2012 Group C qualifying matches.

Luca Cigarini Atalanta AP/LA PRESSE - 0

Italy, who have already reached June's tournament, meet Serbia in Belgrade on Friday and Northern Ireland in Pescara on October 11.

Uncapped Cigarini (pictured), who has been impressive during Atalanta's strong early season form, comes in for the injured Thiago Motta having been called up twice before while centre half Barzagli returns to the Azzurri mix after a three-year break.

Internazionale defender Andrea Ranocchia and Fiorentina forward Alberto Gilardino, named in Prandelli's previous squad for the matches against the Faroe Islands and Slovenia, were also missing through injury.

Italy qualified for the Poland and Ukraine finals last month after their victory against Slovenia in Florence left them eight points clear of second-placed Serbia.

The Azzurri dropped their only points of the qualifying campaign in a goalless draw in Belfast last October five days before being awarded a 3-0 forfeit victory against Serbia when crowd trouble in Genova meant the game was abandoned.

Serbian authorities have called on their fans to behave for the return match.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St Germain)

Defenders: Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti (Palermo), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Mattia Cassani (Fiorentina), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Zenit St Petersburg), Christian Maggio (Napoli)

Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (AC Milan), Luca Cigarini (Atalanta), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Manchester City), Antonio Cassano (AC Milan), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma), Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal)

Reuters

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