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 By Ben Gladwell

Antonio Di Natale hoping to get back into football from next summer

Antonio Di Natale retired from football last summer.

Former Udinese and Italy forward Antonio Di Natale says he is itching to get back into the game in a non-playing capacity, but only after dedicating more time to his family.

Di Natale, 39, brought an end to his playing career in the summer after scoring 209 goals in Serie A and 300 in all competitions.

He was back at Udinese on Monday night to participate in the club's celebrations to mark their 120th anniversary, and he admitted he missed being involved in football, although he says he will not...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Mario Balotelli's next Italy call-up 'only a matter of time' - Gianfranco Zola

Alison Bender and Gabriele Marcotti discuss the news that Mario Balotelli has been overlooked for a place in the latest Italy squad.

Former Italy international Gianfranco Zola says it's only a matter of time before Mario Balotelli returns to the Azzurri setup.

Balotelli, whose seven goals in nine league games has led Nice to the Ligue 1 summit this season, has not played for his country since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The former Inter Milan and Manchester City man is currently sidelined with a calf injury. However, Zola told Omnisport another call-up for his country is inevitable.

"It seems to me that he is working very...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Marco Verratti not tested enough in France - Italy coach Giampiero Ventura

Marco Verratti joined PSG in 2012.

Italy coach Giampiero Ventura has criticised the standard of Ligue 1, insisting that Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti is not being tested enough in France.

Ventura has already hit out at MLS and his comment that he didn't call up Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco because he "plays in a league that doesn't count for much" drew criticism.

However, the 68-year-old has now claimed that Verratti would be better off returning to Serie A.

"I've said it before and I'll...

 By Ben Gladwell

Italy boss Giampiero Ventura to meet Mario Balotelli before next matches

Alison Bender and Gabriele Marcotti discuss the news that Mario Balotelli has been overlooked for a place in the latest Italy squad.

Italy coach Giampiero Ventura has said he will talk to Nice striker Mario Balotelli before he selects his next squad in March.

Balotelli's outstanding form for the Ligue 1 club has brought calls for him to return to the Italy team for the first time since the 2014 World Cup.

But although Ventura has overlooked the former Manchester City and Liverpool forward for his last two squads, he said the door was not closed to him.

"Balotelli's not a player for a training camp -- we're talking about a player...