Four new faces in Italy squad

MILAN, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Italy coach Cesare Prandelli named four new call-ups, including Argentina-born Cristian Ledesma, in his squad on Sunday for Wednesday's friendly with Romania.

Lazio midfielder Ledesma, who has helped his modest side prosper in Serie A this term having been dropped for much of last season after an internal dispute, gained Italian citizenship in 2008.

Palermo full-back Federico Balzaretti, Brescia midfielder Alessandro Diamanti and Genoa centre half Andrea Ranocchia - half-owned by Inter Milan - are the other new faces as Prandelli uses the last friendly of the year to experiment.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli returned after injury and despite a domestic suspension but forward Antonio Cassano was omitted as expected having been banished from the Sampdoria squad for swearing at the club president.

Federico Marchetti, Italy's goalkeeper in their ill-fated World Cup campaign, was again overlooked after being dropped by Cagliari while Amauri and Simone Pepe were notable absentees for the game in Klagenfurt, Austria.

Their Juventus team mate Giorgio Chiellini is among a host of players injured but Juve midfielder Alberto Aquilani is called up for the first time since February 2009.

Italy top Euro 2012 qualifying Group C after last month's home game with Serbia was abandoned because of crowd violence and a 3-0 win awarded to the Azzurri.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Antonio Mirante (Parma), Salvatore Sirigu (Palermo), Emiliano Viviano (Bologna);

Defenders: Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti (Palermo), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Daniele Gastaldello (Sampdoria), Andrea Ranocchia (Genoa), Davide Santon (Inter)

Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (Juventus), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Alessandro Diamanti (Brescia), Cristian Ledesma (Lazio), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Stefano Mauri (Lazio), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan)

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Manchester City), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella (Juventus), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal).


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