ROME (AP) — Four Napoli players figure in new coach Luciano Spalletti’s first Italy squad after leading the club to the Serie A title last season.
Spalletti called up goalkeeper Alex Meret, full back Giovanni Di Lorenzo — his captain at Napoli — as well as forwards Matteo Politano and Giacomo Raspadori in a 29-man squad on Friday. All four players helped Spalletti to his first Italian league title.
Spalletti was hired when Roberto Mancini surprisingly left last month and took charge of Saudi Arabia’s team.
Italy faces North Macedonia and Ukraine in European Championship qualifiers on Sept. 9 and 12, respectively. The Azzurri have three points from their opening two games in Group C to trail England and Ukraine.
Lazio defender Nicolò Casale was handed his first call up, while former captain Leonardo Bonucci, Jorginho, Marco Verratti and Francesco Acerbi were left out.
Bonucci was left out of preseason training at Juventus and transferred to Union Berlin on Friday.
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain), Alex Meret (Napoli), Ivan Provedel (Lazio), Guglielmo Vicario (Tottenham).
Defenders: Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Nicolò Casale (Lazio), Matteo Darmian (Inter), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Federico Dimarco (Inter), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Alessio Romagnoli (Lazio), Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma).
Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Inter), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Davide Frattesi (Inter), Manuel Locatelli (Juventus), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Matteo Pessina (Monza), Sandro Tonali (Newcastle).
Forwards: Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Matteo Politano (Napoli), Giacomo Raspadori (Napoli), Mateo Retegui (Genoa), Mattia Zaccagni (Lazio), Nicolò Zaniolo (Aston Villa).
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/Soccer
The Associated Press