Destro and Verratti make Italy cut

AS Roma striker Mattia Destro and Paris Saint-Germain FC midfielder Marco Verratti will offer senior international experience having been named in Italy's finals squad.

Mattia Destro (foreground) and Marco Verratti have seven senior caps between them
Mattia Destro (foreground) and Marco Verratti have seven senior caps between them ©Getty Images

Full internationals Marco Verratti and Mattia Destro have been included in the Italy squad for the forthcoming UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals in Israel.

Paris Saint-Germain FC midfielder Verratti, 20, who has scored once in three outings at senior level, has not played for the Azzurrini since 4 June 2012, when he was sent off in a 2-2 qualifying round draw with the Republic of Ireland.

That game in Sligo was also the last time Destro appeared for Devis Mangia's team. The 22-year-old AS Roma forward has gone on to feature in three FIFA World Cup qualifiers, scoring in a 2-0 victory against Malta last September.

"They are both really enthusiastic about being with us and have already understood that our main strength is the group," said Mangia, whose squad start their Group A campaign against England on 5 June before taking on hosts Israel and Norway.

"We have enough quality to achieve something big in Israel. We will have to focus from the start because our opponents in the group are all very difficult."

However, AC Milan full-back Mattia De Sciglio and club-mate Stephan El Shaarawy, both 20, have been named in a provisional Azzurri squad preparing to face the Czech Republic in a World Cup qualifier on 7 June and for the FIFA Confederations Cup, beginning eight days later in Brazil.     

Italy squad
Goalkeepers: Francesco Bardi (Novara Calcio), Simone Colombi (Modena FC), Nicola Leali (SS Virtus Lanciano 1924).

Defenders: Matteo Bianchetti (Hellas Verona FC), Cristiano Biraghi (AS Cittadella), Luca Caldirola (Brescia Calcio), Marco Capuano (Pescara Calcio), Marco Crimi (US Grosseto FC), Giulio Donati (US Grosseto FC), Vasco Regini (Empoli FC).

Midfielders: Andrea Bertolacci (Genoa CFC), Alessandro Florenzi (AS Roma), Lorenzo Insigne (SSC Napoli), Luca Marrone (Juventus), Fausto Rossi (Brescia Calcio), Nicola Sansone (Parma FC), Riccardo Saponara (Empoli FC), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain FC).

Forwards: Fabio Borini (Liverpool FC), Mattia Destro (AS Roma), Manolo Gabbiadini (Bologna FC), Ciro Immobile (Genoa CFC), Alberto Paloschi (AC Chievo Verona).