The moment that many fans in Italy were waiting for finally arrived. The young starlet Torino striker Ciro Immobile has been awarded with the first ever call-up to the Italian national team, in view of the friendly clash on next Wednesday against Spain at the Vicente Calderon.
For the 24-year-old, it is a well-deserved prize that came after several years of great performances, both in Serie A and Serie B. In this current season, moreover, the forward has finally been able to establish as an authentic asset of the league. Not in vain, he is third in the top-scorer standings, with 13 goals and only behind Carlos Tevez and Giuseppe Rossi.
Of course, the inevitable absences of both the American born striker and Mario Balotelli also made it easier for boss Cesare Prandelli to call Immobile. Without a doubt, he now has a great opportunity to earn a spot in the squad for the World Cup, as he will be facing a nation that he already knows well, given that he even scored against their U-21 selection in the 2013 European Championship final.
Besides Immobile, Prandelli also included Parma‘s defender Gabriel Paletta, an oriundo who will be making his debut with Italy after having played for the U-21 Argentine national team, with which he even won the World Cup in 2005. On the contrary, the captain of the future, Daniele De Rossi, has once more been excluded for having broken the famous code of ethics during the Roma match against Inter.
Here is the full list of 26 players given by Prandelli in view of the Wednesday clash.
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint Germain).
Defenders: Ignazio Abate (Milan), Davide Astori (Cagliari), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Zenit San Pietroburgo), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Gabriel Paletta (Parma).
Midfielders: Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Emanuele Giaccherini (Sunderland), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint Germain), Marco Parolo (Parma), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain)
Forwards: Alessio Cerci (Torino), Mattia Destro (Roma), Alberto Gilardino (Genoa), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Pablo Osvaldo (Juventus).