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.

Related

    Madrid Confirm Solari as Head Coach

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Madrid Confirm Solari as Head Coach

    Gill Clark
    via Bleacher Report

    Why Solari's Task Is Harder Than Zidane's Was

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Why Solari's Task Is Harder Than Zidane's Was

    Evening Standard
    via Evening Standard

    Premier League's Top 100 Player Rankings

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Premier League's Top 100 Player Rankings

    Sam Tighe
    via Bleacher Report

    Sancho to Get First England Start vs. USMNT

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Sancho to Get First England Start vs. USMNT

    Dominic Fifield
    via the Guardian