Abate gets maiden Italy call-up

AC Milan full-back set to make his national team debut

Ignazio Abate: AC Milan full-back gets his chance to represent his country at senior level

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AC Milan defender Ignazio Abate has received his first call-up to the Italy national team as the Azzurri prepare for this month's friendly internationals against Poland and Uruguay.

The 24-year-old has been in impressive form for Milan so far this campaign and will have the chance to play for his national team when they travel to Wroclaw to face Poland on Friday and host Uruguay on 15th November in Rome.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, though, will be without Abate's Milan team-mate and forward Antonio Cassano, who underwent a minor heart surgery last week.

Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi too has been left out of the 24-man squad as he is currently nursing a knee injury.

There has been a recall for Juventus winger Simone Pepe following his impressive performances for the Old Lady this campaign. The 28-year-old last played for Italy in October 2010.

Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli is among several players who make their return after missing last month's Euro 2012 qualifiers through injury.

Squad: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St Germain); Ignazio Abate, Federico Balzaretti (Palermo), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Zenit St Petersburg), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter); Alberto Aquilani, Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Inter), Antonio Nocerino (Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus); Mario Balotelli (Manchester City), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma), Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter), Pepe (Juventus), Daniel Osvaldo (Roma), Alessandro Matri (Juventus).