Di Natale delighted with Italy recall

Udinese veteran Antonio Di Natale has spoken of his delight at finally returning to the international fold after over a year's absence from the Italy squad.

Italy vs Slovakia: Antonio Di Natale

Di Natale last featured for the Azzurri at the 2010 FIFA World Cup where he was handed the prized number ten jersey, but Italy embarassingly failed to make the knockout stages, finishing bottom of their group.

Since then, the 34-year-old has fired in 41 goals in 57 appearances for the Zebrette, but Italy coach Cesare Prandello has gone for younger blood recently, preferring the likes of Antonio Cassano, Giuseppe Rossi, Giampaolo Pazzini and Mario Balotelli.

However, long-term injuries to Cassano and Rossi has left the Azzurri shorthanded on the attacking front, prompting Prandelli to admit earlier this week that he will recall Di Natale for the friendly against the United States on February 29.

"I have decided that for the friendly with the USA in February I will call him [Di Natale]," Prandelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport earlier this week.

"I want to see him with Balotelli, as they are both strikers of great movement. They could move together like Giuseppe Rossi and Antonio Cassano.

"I am curious to see them together, as they could be the solution."

And on Wednesday, the Udinese captain admitted he was delighted by his impending return to the Azzurri squad.

"What can I say? I am happy and enthusiastic," Di Natale told Il Corriere dello Sport.

"Prandelli and I haven't spoken much, but there's a deep respect between us."

Di Natale has scored ten goals in 36 caps for Italy.



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