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Rossi among those included in preliminary Italy squad

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The Canadian Press
5/13/2014 2:12:11 PM
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ROME -- Key defender Giorgio Chiellini was included in Italy's preliminary 30-man World Cup squad Tuesday, ending doubts that he might face a code of ethics punishment for his three-match ban with Juventus.

United States-born forward Giuseppe Rossi also made it, having just returned from a four-month layoff due to a right knee injury.

Among those who missed the cut were forwards Alberto Gilardino and Pablo Osvaldo, Sunderland winger Emanuele Giaccherini, attacking midfielder Alessandro Diamanti, who recently joined Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande, and Zenit St. Petersburg fullback Domenico Criscito.

The forwards included are Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, Alessio Cerci, Mattia Destro, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne and Rossi.

On Monday, Chiellini was banned by the Serie A judge for elbowing Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic in Juventus' 1-0 win Sunday. But Italy coach Cesare Prandelli apparently viewed the incident as not having any intent of violence.

Last month, Roma forward Destro was left off the squad for fitness tests while he served a three-match ban for punching an opponent, and several other players have missed matches due to similar code of ethics violations.

Prandelli's latest squad announcement was made with a press release by the Italian football federation -- with no comments attached.

Also left out was 17-year-old Udinese goalkeeper Simone Scuffet, hailed as the next Gianluigi Buffon.

Torino's 24-year-old fullback Matteo Darmian was a surprise inclusion.

Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante was left off the 30-man list but was called up to train with the squad in case of an injury to the three goalkeepers selected -- captain Gianluigi Buffon, Salvatore Sirigu and Mattia Perin.

It's Buffon's ninth call up to a major international tournament, moving him level with former Germany great Lothar Matthaus as the top Europeans -- and it would have been 10 if Buffon hadn't been injured for the 2000 European Championship.

Four-time champion Italy is in Group D with England, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Final 23-man squads are due June 2.

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Italy:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain).

Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Gabriel Paletta (Parma), Manuel Pasqual (Fiorentina), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter Milan).

Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Marco Parolo (Parma), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Romulo (Hellas Verona), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain).

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Mattia Destro (Roma), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Giuseppe Rossi (Fiorentina).

Giuseppe Rossi  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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