sport

Rossi named in Italy squad

Giuseppe Rossi has capped his comeback from a right knee problem with a recall to Italy's national squad ahead of the World Cup.

The Fiorentina striker was included in Cesare Prandelli's 30-man preliminary group on Tuesday.

Rossi damaged ligaments in his right knee in January and missed four months before recently playing again.

Torino forward Ciro Immobile has been included by Prandelli after a superb campaign.

The 24-year-old is Serie A's top scorer with 22 goals this term and made his first appearance for the Azzurri in a international friendly against Spain in March.

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli joins Rossi and Immobile in the squad.

Balotelli, who was Italy's leading scorer in qualifying with five goals, has faced criticism after some of his performances this season.

The former Manchester City player has scored 14 times in 29 Serie A appearances but that has not been enough to help Milan qualify for Europe next season.

Roma's leading marksman Mattia Destro and Parma's veteran striker Antonio Cassano are also included in the roster.

The 31-year-old Cassano has yet to play in a World Cup finals, but was part of Prandelli's squad for the 2012 European Championship when Italy reached the final.

Cassano has scored 12 goals and come up with five assists to help Parma remain in contention for European football next season.

Genoa striker Alberto Gilardino, who was a member of Italy's World Cup winning squad in 2006, has not been included.

Italy will begin training in their headquarters in Coverciano, Florence, on May 19.

The Azzurri take on Republic of Ireland in a friendly in London on May 31 and will play their last warm-up game against Luxembourg on June 4 in Perugia before travelling to Brazil.

Italy were drawn in Group D alongside England, Costa Rica and Uruguay.

The Azzurri begin their World Cup adventure against England in Manaus on June 14.

Italy squad:

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

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

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

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