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Nigerian-born Udogie gets Italy first call-up for Euro qualifiers



Premier League - AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur - Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, Britain - August 26, 2023 Tottenham Hotspur's Destiny Udogie prepares to take a throw in REUTERS/David Klein /File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

Italy have included Nigerian-born Tottenham Hotspur defender Destiny Udogie for the first time in their squad for this month’s European Championship qualifiers against Malta and England, the Italian football federation (FIGC) said on Friday.

Luciano Spalletti included the former Udinese left back in his second squad selection as Azzurri manager after the 20-year-old started for Spurs in all seven of their Premier League games so far this season.

Midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini is sidelined after suffering a muscle injury in AS Roma’s Europa League game against Servette on Thursday.

Italy are in second place and trail England by six points with a game in hand on all of their Group C rivals. They host bottom side Malta on Oct. 14 in Bari before travelling to face England at Wembley three days later.

Italy squad:


Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris St Germain), Alex Meret (Napoli), Ivan Provedel (Lazio), Guglielmo Vicario (Tottenham Hotspur)

Defenders: Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni (both Inter Milan), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Matteo Darmian (Inter), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Federico Dimarco (Inter), Federico Gatti (Juventus), Gianluca Mancini (AS Roma) , Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta), Destiny Udogie (Tottenham)

Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter), Giacomo Bonaventura (Fiorentina), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Davide Frattesi (Inter), Manuel Locatelli (Juventus), Sandro Tonali (Newcastle United)

Attackers: Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Moise Kean (Juventus), Giacomo Raspadori (Napoli), Gianluca Scamacca (Atalanta), Mattia Zaccagni (Lazio), Nicolo Zaniolo (Aston Villa)






Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.