Cassano who? Milan hero is likely to become Italy’s as well…
Milan fans will have been delighted this week with Cesare Prandelli’s decision to select new striker, Giampaolo Pazzini, for Italy’s upcoming two World Cup qualifiers.
The selection comes as just reward for a player that has got off to a superb start for the Rossoneri, and could signify a more important role in upcoming soccer games for Pazzini in the Italy national team.
Pazzini, who has already made 24 appearances for Italy, joined Milan from rivals, Inter, just this summer. The 28-year-old has been an immediate hit after scoring a game-winning hat trick against Bologna this week. It is the manner of his goals that will have pleased Prandelli most; all three were fine examples of a dogged striker hungry to find the back of the net.
His first – a penalty – was drilled low into the corner of the goal and revealed the same confidence that Italy’s players exhibited during their penalty shoot-out victory over England at Euro 2012. The second was a typical striker’s goal: Pazzini making a nuisance of himself in the Bologna penalty area and unsettling the goalkeeper just enough to pounce on a mistake.
Yet it was his third goal that will have attracted coach Prandelli’s eye. Much like when Ronaldo graced Serie A for both Inter and Milan, Pazzini showcased his goalscoring instinct to secure victory for the Rossoneri, steering a wayward Antonio Nocerino shot into the net while holding off a defender.
The former Sampdoria striker has the ability to propel Milan into a new era of dominance after the club sold their main striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, to PSG this summer.
Yet, he may also have what it takes to lead the line for his country, with Prandelli hopefully open-minded enough to start the striker against Bulgaria and Malta this week.
The Azzurri head into their pair of friendlies as strong favourites for the win in the sports betting odds online.