Florence

Soccer: Prandelli counting on show of pride from De Rossi

Cassano omitted because coach is on 'road of renewal'

Soccer: Prandelli counting on show of pride from De Rossi

(ANSA) - Florence, October 8 - Coach Cesare Prandelli said Monday that he was counting on a show of pride from Daniele De Rossi in Italy's upcoming World Cup qualifiers after the midfielder was dropped by AS Roma last weekend. Roma boss Zdenek Zeman left De Rossi and Italy forward Pablo Osvaldo on the bench for Sunday's 2-0 win over Atalanta citing "motivation" reasons, which the media has interpreted as being his way of saying they are not trying hard enough. "It's a big accusation and at this stage I'm banking on the pride and professionalism of people who want to disprove it," Prandelli told reporters. "Here in the national team, De Rossi and Osvaldo have always been willing and capable of training twice a day when asked. "Every coach has his reasons. Knowing Zeman, it may have been a provocation". Italy visit Armenia on Friday and take on Denmark in Milan four days later. They lead European qualification Group B after beating Malta 2-0 in Modena and drawing 2-2 with Bulgaria in Sofia last month. Prandelli has said he intends to keep rejuvenating the national team and has again overlooked Inter Milan's 30-year-old forward Antonio Cassano despite some good recent showings. "His time with the national team is not over," Prandelli said of Cassano, who helped Italy reach the final of Euro 2012 in the summer. "But at the moment I prefer to continue on the road of renewal with younger players. It's the same thing with (Udinese forward Antonio) Di Natale, who then played (for Italy) at more important moments". Mario Balotelli, 22, is back in the Azzurri squad even though Prandelli admitted he was disappointed that the Manchester City forward chose to have surgery on a minor eye problem before last month's qualifiers. AC Milan's 19-year-old striker Stephan El Shaarawy is poised to add to the cap he won in a friendly defeat to England in August. Bologna's Alberto Gilardino, who was a member of Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning squad like De Rossi, has been recalled to the national team after more than a year following a run of good form. Zenit St. Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito, dropped from Italy's Euro 2012 squad after being accused of possible involvement in match-fixing when he was at Genoa, was recalled after prosecutors decided to drop the case against him. Italy squad: Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St. Germain), Emiliano Viviano (Fiorentina); Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Federico Balzaretti (Roma), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Zenit St. Petersburg), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter); Midfielders: Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Alessandro Diamanti (Bologna), Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Marco Verratti (Paris St. Germain); Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Manchester City), Mattia Destro (AS Roma), Stephan El Shaarawy (AC Milan), Alberto Gilardino (Bologna), Sebastian Giovinco (Juventus), Pablo Osvaldo (Roma).

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