AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma leads a clutch of young players promoted to the Italy senior squad by new coach Giampiero Ventura to face France and Israel.
At 17, Donnarumma is the youngster Italy call-up since 1911, while his club team-mate and reported Chelsea target Alessio Romagnoli, Juventus defender Daniele Rugani and Torino striker Andrea Belotti also step up from the Under-21s in search of full international honours.
Ventura’s first squad since succeeding Antonio Conte also features, at the other end of the age spectrum, Juventus veteran Andrea Barzagli.
The 35-year-old defender – a 2006 World Cup winner – previously pledged to retire from international football at the end of Euro 2016.
Graziano Pelle may have the opportunity to reprise his attacking partnership with Inter’s Eder from that tournament, despite moving to Chinese Super League outfit Shandong Luneng.
Fellow striker Ciro Immobile returns following his switch to Lazio and influential Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti is back after injury ruled him out of the Azzurri’s run to the quarter-finals in France.
Italy’s friendly against France on September 1 at the Bari’s Stadio San Nicola will be the first to use FIFA’s experimental Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology before Ventura’s men begin their Russia 2018 qualification campaign in Haifa four days later.
Italy squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Federico Marchetti (Lazio).
Defenders: Luca Antonelli (Milan), Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham), Alessio Romagnoli (Milan), Daniele Rugani (Juventus).
Midfielders: Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Antonio Candreva (Inter), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain).
Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Eder Citadin Martins (Inter), Manolo Gabbiadini (Napoli), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Leonardo Pavoletti (Genoa), Graziano Pelle (Shandong Luneng).
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