Antonio Conte adds new faces to Italy squad for upcoming Euro friendlies
ROME -- Italy coach Antonio Conte has given first call-ups to Jorginho and Federico Bernardeschi for European Championship warm-up friendlies against Spain and Germany.
Conte, who confirmed this week he will leave the job after Euro 2016, left out forward Mario Balotelli, who has failed to impress on loan at AC Milan from Liverpool.
Brazil-born midfielder Jorginho is rewarded for good form with title-chasing Napoli, and 22-year-old Bernardeschi is picked despite scoring only one goal in Serie A this season.
Another Brazil-born midfielder, Thiago Motta of Paris Saint-German, returns for the first time since the 2014 World Cup.
Italy hosts Spain, the two-time defending European champion, in Udine on Thursday and travels to Munich to face World Cup winner Germany five days later.
At Euro 2016 in France, Italy is in arguably the toughest group with top-ranked Belgium, Ireland and Sweden.
GOALKEEPERS: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain)
DEFENDERS: Francesco Acerbi (Sassuolo), Luca Antonelli (Milan), Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Lorenzo de Silvestri (Sampdoria), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter Milan)
MIDFIELDERS: Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Emanuele Giaccherini (Bologna), Jorginho (Napoli), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Roberto Soriano (Sampdoria), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)
FORWARDS: Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Eder (Inter Milan), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Simone Zaza (Juventus).