Mancini Calls Up 38 Players for First Italy World Cup Qualifiers

Italy are set to play their first three World Cup qualifiers in the upcoming international break, and thus, national team coach Roberto Mancini decided to call-up 38 players.

Gli Azzurri will be hosting Northern Ireland in Parma on Thursday 25th March, before playing two away fixtures against Bulgaria and Lithuania on Sunday 28th and Wednesday 31th respectively.

Whilst the number of players called-up seems relatively high, the availability of Inter’s trio – Alessandro Bastoni, Nicoló Barella and Stefano Sensi – remains uncertain after the recent Covid-19 outbreak at Appiano Gentile.

On another note, Atalanta’s Brazilian-born defender Rafael Toloi receives his first call-up alongside Spezia’s Matteo Ricci.

Besides that, most of the usual suspects return for the first Italy gathering of the year, as Mancini will once again be able to rely on some of the players who were previously injured – the likes of PSG’s Marco Verratti and national team captain Giorgio Chiellini.

Bologna’s Roberto Soriano and Atalanta’s Matteo Pessina have been some of the pleasant surprises of the Serie A season, and they have been reward with a call-up for their efforts.

Full Italy Squad

Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino);

Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter) *, Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Emerson Palmieri (Chelsea), Gian Marco Ferrari ( Sassuolo), Alessandro Florenzi (Paris Saint Germain), Manuel Lazzari (Lazio), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma), Rafael Toloi (Atalanta);

Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Inter) *, Gaetano Castrovilli (Fiorentina), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo), Rolando Mandragora (Turin), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Rome), Matteo Pessina (Atalanta), Matteo Ricci (Spezia) *, Stefano Sensi (Inter) *, Roberto Soriano (Bologna), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain);

Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo), Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg), Ciro Immobile (Lazio) , Lorenzo Insigne (Naples), Moise Kean (Paris Saint Germain).