Italy had their last training session at the San Nicola Stadium in Bari before they leave for Haifa where they face the hosts Israel at 20:45 CEST in the first qualifier on the road to Russia 2018. The Russian referee Sergej Karasev will officiate.
Andrea Belotti didn’t train with the rest of the group after feeling a muscular injury in his right thigh. The Torino forward made his debut on Thursday against France and he will remain available to coach Gian Piero Ventura for the trip to Haifa and his condition will be evaluated by Enrico Castellacci’s medical staff.
The ‘Bari Città Azzurra’ programme also came to a conclusion yesterday afternoon. Following training, Riccardo Montolivo and Marco Parolo met young players who were asked to take on the role of reporters. The debate was was set up as a press conference with the youngsters asking lots of questions and discovering many interesting facts from the two players who were happy to talk about their experiences as youngsters and then as international footballers. They offered advice to the youngsters about what football is from both an educational and human perspective.
After the session, Montolivo and Parolo signed and donated two Italy shirts that will be put on display at the offices of the local technical centre.
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Squad list and official numbers
Goalkeepers: 1 Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), 12 Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), 13 Federico Marchetti (Lazio);
Defenders: 14 Luca Antonelli (Milan), 4 Davide Astori (Fiorentina), 15 Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), 19 Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), 3 Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), 2 Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), 5 Angelo Obinze Ogbonna (West Ham), 25 Daniele Rugani (Juventus);
Midfielders: 21 Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), 7 Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), 6 Antonio Candreva (Inter), 24 Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), 18 Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), 8 Marco Parolo (Lazio), 10 Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain);
Forwards: 20 Andrea Belotti (Torino), 17 Eder Citadin Martins (Inter), 22 Manolo Gabbiadini (Napoli), 11 Ciro Immobile (Lazio), 23 Leonardo Pavoletti (Genoa), 9 Graziano Pellè (Shandong Luneng).
Staff – Head Coach: Gian Piero Ventura; Assistant Coaches: Salvatore Sullo, Paolo Vanoli and Gianluca Spinelli; Secretary: Mauro Vladovich; Fitness coaches: Alessandro Innocenti and Giovanni Brignardello; Team Doctors: Enrico Castellacci and Carmine Costabile; Physiotherapists/Masseurs: Fabrizio Scalzi, Emanuele Randelli, Alfonso Casano and Pasquale Raia.
Italy’s schedule for the matches against France and Israel in September:
Sunday 4th September
10:00 Training at the Stadio San Nicola (closed)
15:15 Chartered flight from Bari to Tel Aviv departs
19:05 (18:05 CEST) Chartered flight arrives in Tel Aviv and squad transfer by bus to Haifa (1h 20mins)
20:45 (19:45 CEST) Pitch inspection at the S. Hofer Stadium and press conference with head coach and one player
Followed by transfer to hotel
Monday 5th September
21:45 (20:45 CEST) 2018 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING MATCH: ISRAEL vs. ITALY
Followed by meeting with the press and transfer to hotel
Tuesday 6th September
12:30 (11:30 CEST) Chartered flight leaves Tel Aviv for Milan Malpensa via Rome Fiumincino