Palermo midfielder Antonio Nocerino says he owes his Italy call to former coach Delio Rossi.

Nocerino came off the bench during the 1-0 victory in Slovenia on Friday evening and Thiago Motta scored the winner soon after.

"Maybe it's not a coincidence," he laughed yesterday.

"We played a good game, as we were organised and determined. As for me, I hope I'll have more chances to play and be a part of this squad."

Nocerino thanked his former Rosanero Coach Rossi, recently fired by Palermo, for the step up in his career.

"If I am here, then I must thank Rossi. He made me grow, not just tactically and in terms of technique, but also as a man.

"At the start everyone thought I was just a workhorse midfielder, but now they are realising I have a certain quality to my football and that makes me happy."