Barzagli: Juve to thank for Italy recall
Andrea Barzagli has expressed his delight at returning to the Italy squad and thanked his club for helping make it possible. The Juventus defender was included in Cesare Prandelli's roster for the upcoming UEFA EURO 2012 Group C qualifying games against Serbia and Northern Ireland.
Barzagli, a 2006 FIFA World Cup™ winner, had not been called up for Italy in the past three years. "If I am here it is thanks to Juventus," Barzagli told the Italian football federation's official website www.figc.it. "I am delighted to be back in the national team."
The 30-year-old joined the Turin giants in January after a three-year spell at Wolfsburg and has been a regular in Antonio Conte's squad. "I decided to return to Italy because I had been approached by a great club like Juve," Barzagli said. "I wanted to get back in contention after a positive experience abroad. I have given everything to be up to the standard of Juve. I am happy with what I've done so far and I hope I continue to do well."
Italy have already sealed a spot in the EURO 2012 finals and travel to Belgrade on Friday to face Serbia looking to maintain their unbeaten run in qualifying. However they will be without Zenit Saint Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito who has been ruled out of both games with a groin strain. Palermo defender Federico Balzaretti and Inter Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini are also doubtful for the ties.