Football

Ex-Manchester United man recalled to national side

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Former Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi has been recalled to the Italian squad for the first time in two years.

Spectacular form at the start of the season has seen Fiorentina striker Rossi included in Cesare Prandelli's squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers. 

The games are irrelevant for Prandelli's men as they have already sealed their place in Brazil next summer, but for Rossi they'll provide a perfect opportunity to wear the Azzurri shirt for the first time since October 2011.

Rossi has had a torrid time with injuries in recent years, making just one appearance for Fiorentina last season, but is now fighting fit and raring to get back to his best.

Early signs are promising for the American-born man as he's netted six times in just eight appearances for his side, and he'll hope to add to his tally of six in 27 games for Italy should he get the nod for the games against Denmark and Armenia.

Despite having failed to establish himself at Old Trafford, a spell at Villarreal allowed Rossi to show his true ability and he was showing signs of developing into one of Europe's most accomplished goalscorers before injury struck.

Joining Rossi in the squad is former Manchester City man Mario Balotelli. The AC Milan striker is a surprise inclusion following a three-game Serie A ban for insulting a referee.

Prandelli has proven to be a strict disciplinarian in his time at the Italy helm and had previously refused to select players who had picked up domestic suspensions for violent or aggressive conduct. 

The fixtures could also be memorable for captain Gianluigi Buffon who would surpass Fabio Cannavaro's record of 137 caps should he feature in either game. 

The Premier League will be represented in the 2006 World Cup winners' squad by Sunderland's Emanuele Giaccherini and Southampton forward Pablo Osvaldo.

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Italy Football
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