Fiorentina striker Alberto Gilardino is delighted with his call-up to Marcello Lippi's new Italy squad for the friendly against Austria.

The ex-AC Milan forward said: "It is a wonderful feeling and a call I have been desperately waiting for since the moment I arrived in Florence.

"Knowing that I will return to training with the Azzurri under the tutelage of Lippi is very important."

Gilardino never quite featured in Roberto Donadoni's plans, but hopes to make the same impression he did in the 2006 World Cup campaign.

"I wanted to ensure I was ready for the Champions League preliminary round and this Italy return.

"My last memory of working with Lippi was the World Cup Final in Germany, an image that remains very strong on my mind. I am truly happy at this call."