Rome (AFP) – Atalanta captain Rafael Toloi was called up by Italy coach Roberto Mancini on Friday for their upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers, after switching his international allegiance from Brazil.
The 30-year-old defender previously played for Brazil’s youth team but never for the senior side and gained Italian citizenship last month.
Mancini named a 38-man squad for the games later this month against Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania.
Four-time world champions Italy are bidding to put the disappointment of their shock failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup behind them.
Mancini did not spring any other surprises, with striker Moise Kean, who is enjoying a fruitful campaign on loan at Paris Saint-Germain from Everton, keeping his place.
Italy’s 38-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino)
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Emerson Palmieri (Chelsea/ENG), Gian Marco Ferrari (Sassuolo), Alessandro Florenzi (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Manuel Lazzari (Lazio), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma), Rafael Toloi (Atalanta)
Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan), Gaetano Castrovilli (Fiorentina), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo), Rolando Mandragora (Torino), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Matteo Pessina (Atalanta), Matteo Ricci (Spezia), Stefano Sensi (Inter Milan), Roberto Soriano (Bologna), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)
Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo), Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg/GER), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Moise Kean (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)
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