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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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Pazzini hopes for Italy recall

AC Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini has spoken of his desire to secure a return to the Italian national team.

Pazzini, who joined the Rossoneri from city rivals Inter in the summer, missed out on Euro 2012 and has not featured for Cesare Prandelli's side since.

"Even though I wasn't called up to the last squad, I still root for the Azzurri," the 28-year-old told Sky Italia. "If I get a lot of goals then I hope to receive a call-up."

Pazzini, who has scored three goals in his last five Serie A appearances, is enjoying his time at Milan under Massimiliano Allegri, despite the club's disappointing start to the season.

"Allegri and I understand each other," he said. "He has not changed is attitude even in this time of difficulty. He has always had a positive attitude and that has helped us grow."

Pazzini had made a fine start to his Inter career, having joined the club in January 2011 during Leonardo's brief spell in charge, but fell out of favour during the 2011-12 season before eventually being offloaded by the team's current coach, Andrea Stramaccioni.

"With Leonardo at Inter, we got on very well," the striker said. "He brought joy and enthusiasm to the locker room and helped everyone grow.

"Stramaccioni was always direct with me - he told me that he preferred other players - so I have absolutely nothing against him."

The move has given Pazzini the chance to play alongside Stephan El Shaarawy for Milan, and he believes the youngster could be destined for great things.

"I did not expect this explosion," he said. "But mentally, he certainly does not seem like a 20-year-old. He is playing in an impressive manner and always keeps calm, but there is still ample room for improvement. He can certainly become a great player."

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