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Osvaldo: Call-up criticism ridiculous

Pablo Osvaldo has hit back at critics questioning his call-up to the Italy senior squad.

• The race to Euro 2012: Who can qualify

Osvaldo, 25, has been called upon by Italy manager Cesare Prandelli for the country's Euro 2012 qualifier against Northern Ireland on Tuesday in light of injuries to Mario Balotelli and Giampaolo Pazzini.

The inclusion has been met by criticism from some Lega Nord (Northern League) politicians, who have suggested the Argentine-born forward should not represent Italy.

But Osvaldo said: "The criticism from politicians is ridiculous. I have an Italian wife, Italian children and an Italian family and I also play in Serie A.

"Moreover, I have already sung the national anthem for the Under-21 team. I would have no problem facing Argentina in the future because it would mean I would be a part of the Italian national team."

Roma attacker Osvaldo went on to speak of his pride at the call-up, admitting he is eagerly anticipating the chance to impress in Pescara.

He told Gazzetta dello Sport: "I am very happy to be here for the first time and am I'm still looking around with an air of disbelief. I want to thank Prandelli for his faith in me.

"It's true I am only here because of an injury crisis, but I still consider it important that the coach had me in mind. It's too early to say if I will be a part of Euro 2012 squad, right now it's just a dream to be here."

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