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Mar 3, 2014

Prandelli stands firm on Chiellini call-up

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli insists he had every right to name Giorgio Chiellini in his squad to face Spain on Wednesday after being told by Juventus medical staff that the defender was fit.

Cesare Prandelli
Cesare Prandelli insists it is his right to call up Giorgio Chiellini for Italy's friendly against Spain.

World Cup Daily
• Rzouki: Juve pedigree

Bianconeri coach Antonio Conte was left dumbfounded by the selection of a player who has been sidelined by injury for the past three weeks -- and even more so by the fact that Prandelli had not consulted with him.

However, the Azzurri coach exerted his right to reply on Monday to state that he is only doing his job in picking the 29-year-old, who was named on the bench for Juve's 2-0 win over AC Milan on Sunday.

"When I see a player go out onto the field or on the bench, I have the right, and I repeat, I have the right to call him up," Prandelli said at a news conference held at Milan Malpensa airport on Monday.

"If we want to talk about interpersonal relations, then if [Juve general manager Beppe] Marotta has a problem then he just has to call.

"Their doctors told us that all of the Italian players in the squad were fit and could be called up, including Chiellini.

"It was the same for [Mattia] De Sciglio, while [Mario] Balotelli didn't play so he wasn't called up."

Prandelli will not change his mind about naming Chiellini in his squad which flies out to Madrid on Monday evening ahead of Wednesday night's friendly against the World and European champions, and he hopes Conte will accept the situation.

"I don't want any controversy with Conte," he added. "In fact, I compliment him for the Panchina d'Oro. I would have voted for him too."

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