greece v italy

Uncapped D'Agostino named in Italy squad

November 16, 2008

Midfielder Gaetano D'Agostino is the latest Udinese player to catch the eye of Italy coach Marcello Lippi after being named in the squad on Sunday for Wednesday's friendly in Greece.

His first call-up followed the surprise inclusion of Udinese forward Simone Pepe in the starting lineups for last month's 0-0 draw in Bulgaria and 2-1 home win over Montenegro which kept the Azzurri top of World Cup qualifying Group Eight.

Pepe was retained in the 22-man squad along with team mate Fabio Quagliarella but fellow Udinese forward Antonio Di Natale missed out through injury.

Unfashionable Udinese made a flying start to the Serie A season but Sunday's 1-0 home defeat by Reggina was their third league game without a win.

In-form Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero, 34, was again overlooked for the match in Greece with Lippi saying on several occasions that he would rather try out younger players.

However, the coach has said he knows all about Del Piero's ability and has not discounted bringing him back for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa if the holders qualify.

Juve forward Vincenzo Iaquinta, who is usually kept out of his club's starting lineup by Del Piero, was included in the squad with Fabio Grosso, Nicola Legrottaglie and Mauro Camoranesi also returning after knocks.

Injuries to Gianluigi Buffon and Marco Amelia have left the goalkeeper's jersey up for grabs while right back Gianluca Zambrotta is also unfit.

Italy's next qualifier is in Montenegro on March 28.

Goalkeepers: Gianluca Curci (Siena), Morgan De Sanctis (Galatasaray)

Defenders: Daniele Bonera (AC Milan), Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Andrea Dossena (Liverpool), Alessandro Gamberini (Fiorentina), Fabio Grosso (Lyon), Nicola Legrottaglie (Juventus)

Midfielders: Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Gaetano D'Agostino (Udinese), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Gennaro Gattuso (Milan), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Simone Perrotta (Roma)

Forwards: Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Fabio Quagliarella (Udinese), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal), Luca Toni (Bayern Munich)