Andrea Pirlo Returns to Italy Squad Following Giacomo Bonaventura's Injury

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 6, 2014

Italy's Andrea Pirlo listens to a question during a press conference at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Monday, June 23, 2014.  (AP Photo/Antonio Clanni)
Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Antonio Conte has recalled Andrea Pirlo to the Italian national team after Giacomo Bonaventura was forced out of the side's upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers through a thigh injury.   

Goal.com's Alec Fenn confirmed the 35-year-old's return, with a statement on the Italian FA's official website reading:

"Coach Antonio Conte has called up Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo, who makes his return to the national team three months after his last appearance in blue in the World Cup. He will reach the Coverciano training centre in the evening [Monday]."

Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

Should he make an appearance, Pirlo will earn his 113th cap against Azerbaijan on Friday just a few months after revealing he intended to retire after the 2014 World Cup.

The Juventus playmaker will also be in the Azzurri squad for their following qualifier in Malta next Monday, according to David Amoyal of GianlucaDiMarzio.com:

Even in his advanced age, Pirlo has been a crucial component under Conte in Juve's ranks during recent years, and the pair will hope to establish another fine relationship when they hook up in the national setting.

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