Berardi gets debut Italy call, Giovinco also included
MILAN (AP) Antonio Conte has included Sebastian Giovinco and Fabio Quagliarella in the Italy squad for the upcoming European Champions qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Norway as well as the uncapped Domenico Berardi.
It is a first call-up to the senior side for Sassuolo striker Berardi at the age of 21.
Giovinco, who hasn’t played for his country since a friendly match against Albania last November, was recalled to the squad for last month’s qualifiers but the Toronto FC forward had to pull out with injury.
The 28-year-old has scored 20 goals and set up another 15 since moving to Major League Soccer from Juventus.
Quagliarella was also recalled following his fine form for Torino. The 32-year-old, who last played for Italy five years ago, has scored four goals in his side’s opening seven Serie A matches.
AC Milan captain Riccardo Montolivo is also back in the squad for the first time since breaking his leg in a warm-up match for the 2014 World Cup.
Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi was left out as he begins a two-match ban following his red card against Bulgaria. Mario Balotelli was tipped for a recall after a fine start to his second spell at AC Milan, but he is out of Sunday’s match against Napoli with a muscular problem.
The squad will meet up at Italy’s Coverciano training camp, on the outskirts of Florence on Sunday night, after their Serie A matches.
Italy visits Azerbaijan on Oct. 10 before playing Norway in Rome three days later.
Conte’s team is top of Group H, two points ahead of Norway.
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Daniele Padelli (Torino), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain).
Defenders: Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter Milan), Davide Santon (Inter Milan).
Midfielders: Andrea Bertolacci (AC Milan), Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Andrea Pirlo (New York City), Roberto Soriano (Sampdoria), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain).
Forwards: Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Eder (Sampdoria),Stephan El Shaarawy (Monaco), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Fabio Quagliarella (Torino), Simone Zaza (Juventus).