Barzagli supports Conte call-ups

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After Antonio Conte's two non-Italy born call-ups created a stir, Andrea Barzagli moved to back his former Juventus boss.

Andrea Barzagli supported coach Antonio Conte's view naturalised Italians are welcome in the international team, amid criticism of the former Juventus' boss selection policy.

Inter coach Roberto Mancini was critical of Conte's inclusion of striker Eder (Sampdoria) and midfielder Franco Vazquez (Palermo), who were born in Brazil and Argentina respectively.

But midfielder Barzagli said the pair were welcome in the Italian set-up.

On Monday, Conte referenced the previous selection of Mauro Camoranesi, Cristian Ledesma, Gabriel Paletta, Thiago Motta, Amauri and Romula as all non-Italy born representatives, and Barzagli endorsed his coach's policy to select the best available.

"I wouldn't say foreign [-born] players in the national team are a problem," the Juventus centre-back said.

"They've always been used, there are international rules and if some players are available and are called up for the national team it means that they're doing great in the league and therefore deserve to wear the Azzurri shirt. 

"I don't see the point of this controversy: it has always happened and we're definitely not the only national team to do this. 

"If they'll help us to do well, they are more than welcome."

Barzagli added he hopes the influx of naturalised Italians can also become prevalent in the country's top flight, to reduce the influence of overseas players.

"I hope that not only the national team but also the Serie A clubs give a chance to young Italian talents," the 50-time international said.

"Sometimes we over-use foreign players that are not real champions while keeping promising Italian players on the bench. 

"I'd rather give a chance to young Italian players that can hopefully grow and become champions in the future. 

"If they don't deliver and they fail to step up, no big deal. We'll go looking for other talents."

Italy take on Bulgaria in a Euro 2016 qualifier in Sofia on Saturday, before a friendly against England in Turin on Tuesday.