Barzagli back in Italy fold

Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli has earned a recall to the Italy squad for their final UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers against Serbia and Northern Ireland.

The 30-year-old Barzagli, who has not played for his country since September 2008, is the only surprise alongside Atalanta midfielder Luca Cigarini in coach Cesare Prandelli's 23-man squad.

The Azzurri, unbeaten in qualifying and having already secured their place in next year's finals in Poland and Ukraine, are without injured Fiorentina striker Alberto Gilardino. Prandelli has picked four players who play outside Italy, including Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli.

Italy, who are eight points clear at the top of Group C, travel to Belgrade to face second-placed Serbia on Friday before hosting Northern Ireland four days later in Pescara.

Italy squad
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St Germain)
Defenders: Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Barzaretti (Palermo), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Mattia Cassani (Fiorentina), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Zenit St Petersburg), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus)
Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (AC Milan), Luca Cigarini (Atalanta), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Antonio Nocerino (Palermo), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Manchester City), Antonio Cassano (AC Milan), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma), Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal).