Giuseppe Rossi lands Italy recall
Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi has won a recall to the Italy squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers following a two-year absence.
Rossi, 26, has been in fine form since moving to the Viola in the summer -- after a lengthy lay-off with cruciate ligament damage – and has hit six goals in seven games.
There is also a recall for Roma full-back Federico Balzaretti for the first time since November 2012.
The 31-year-old has been rewarded by Cesare Prandelli for the key role he has played in his club’s fine start to the Serie A season.
Sunderland winger Emanuele Giaccherini, Southampton striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo and Paris Saint-Germain’s Salvatore Sirigu, Marco Verratti and Thiago Motta have also been included in Prandelli’s squad.
Mario Balotelli, meanwhile, is included despite earning a three-match ban for insulting a referee -- the Italy coach has typically excluded players suspended from domestic competition for violent or aggressive conduct.
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is retained and will pass Fabio Cannavaro's all-time appearance record should he earn a 137th cap.
Italy, who have already booked their place at next year's World Cup, meet Denmark in Copenhagen on October 11 before hosting Armenia in Palermo four days later.
Goalkeepers: Buffon (Juventus), Marchetti (Lazio), Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain).
Defenders: Abate (AC Milan), Astori (Cagliari), Balzaretti (Roma), Bonucci (Juventus), Chiellini (Juventus), De Silvestri (Sampdoria), Pasqual (Fiorentina), Ranocchia (Inter Milan).
Midfielders: Aquilani (Fiorentina), Candreva (Lazio), De Rossi (Roma), Diamanti (Bologna), Florenzi (Roma), Giaccherini (Sunderland), Marchisio (Juventus), Montolivo (AC Milan), Pirlo (Juventus), Poli (AC Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain).
Forwards: Balotelli (AC Milan), Cerci (Torino), Gilardino (Genoa), Insigne (Napoli), Osvaldo (Southampton), Rossi (Fiorentina).
Information from the Press Association was used in this report