Prandelli details selection plans for new-look Italy

New Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has openly discussed the players he has in mind for his new-look squad.
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New Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has openly discussed the players he has in mind for his new-look squad.

Prandelli gave an insight into what his selection policy will be like over the coming months.

He told Gazzetta dello Sport: “I called Buffon to know how he was. He will be our captain and I hope that he comes to watch us in September when we play in Florence.

“After Buffon, I called Gattuso because he has been a great personality, a symbol of La Nazionale and a world champion. I wanted to thank him again for everything that he has done because even if he’ll no longer be in the national team, he remains an example.”

Finally, Prandelli was asked about Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano and Amauri.

“I will only call up those who are playing for their team. It isn’t important where that is, so I would prefer Balotelli to be a regular in England than a reserve in Italy.

“I believe in Cassano’s maturation because one of his phrases impressed me during my brief time at Roma. I asked him if he was going out with anyone and he replied that he would like to have a child, but only with a girl who was in love with Antonio and not Cassano. So I believe that Carolina is the key to his maturation.

“If we play with a 4-2-3-1 with a centre-forward on his own up front, Cassano can be in the middle and Balotelli on the left. But that doesn’t mean they’ll play together in London because these call-ups will be a little strange.

“I have a list of 60 players who can get into the national team. This friendly arrives very soon with few concrete reference points for me because not all of them have played. So I will call up 23 or 24 players, giving precedence to those I know the least and those who up until now have played the most [in pre-season].

“As a rule Amauri is in line with this idea, but there is also Borriello for the attack and I still have a week to make the definitive decisions.”

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