Montolivo back in Italy's soccer squad

May 29, 2017 - 4:48 PM Italy national soccer team coach Gian Piero Ventura has recalled the recovered Riccardo Montolivo in a group of 26 players for a friendly against Uruguay and a World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein, the Italian football federation (FIGC) said Monday.

AC Milan's midfielder Montolivo, 32, underwent surgery after hurting his left knee last October in a 1-1 draw with Spain, who lead Italy on goal difference on top of Group G halfway through the campaign to Russia 2018.

Only group winners advance to the finals, with the second-placed teams going through to a play-off round.

The Azzurri squad will convene Friday at the Coverciano camp outside Florence. They will leave on June 6 for the French Riviera town of Nice to meet Uruguay the following day.

The June 11 game with group tailenders Liechtenstein is to be played in Udine.

Missing a first call from Ventura is Roma defender Emerson Palmieri, who injured himself Sunday in their Serie A season-ender against Genoa.

Five Juventus footballers will join the Azzurri on June 5 after playing the Champions League final against Real Madrid two days earlier in Cardiff.

Three other footballers are expected to leave the camp on the Juventini arrival.

Ventura on Monday also opened a camp for prospective Azzurri, who will play a friendly with San Marino Wednesday.

Italy squad:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Simone Scuffet (Udinese)

Defenders: Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Mattia Caldara (Atalanta), Federico Ceccherini (Crotone), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Danilo D'Ambrosio (Inter Milan), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan), Leonardo Spinazzola (Atalanta)

Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Sassuolo), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain)

Forwards: Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Inter Milan), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Andrea Belotti (Torino), Eder (Inter Milan), Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton), Ciro Immobile (Lazio).

Source: AAP

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