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Giovinco recalled to Italy squad, 1 of 9 foreign-based players for Euro 2016 qualifiers


MILAN — recalled Toronto FC forward to the Italy squad on Saturday for the upcoming European Champions qualifiers against Bulgaria and Malta.

Giovinco, who has scored 17 goals and set up another 12 since moving to Major League Soccer from Juventus, is one of nine foreign-based players in the 28-man squad.

The 28-year-old has won 21 caps for Italy but hasn't played for his country since a friendly match against Albania last November.

The other foreign-based players are New York City FC playmaker , Manchester United defender , Paris Saint-Germain players and , and forwards , and , who play for Monaco, Sevilla and Southampton.

There was also a recall for Zenit St. Petersburg defender .

There is still no place for , who recently returned to AC Milan following a disappointing season at Liverpool. Balotelli hasn't played for Italy since Conte took over from Cesare Prandelli after last year's dismal World Cup.

Italy hosts Malta in Florence on Thursday before playing Bulgaria in Palermo three days later.

Conte's team is second in Group H, a point behind Croatia and two ahead of Norway.

Italy squad:

Goalkeepers: (Juventus), (Torino), (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders: (Sassuolo), (Juventus), (Juventus), (Juventus), (Zenit St. Petersburg), (Manchester United), (AC Milan), (Fiorentina), (Inter Milan).

Midfielders: (AC Milan), (Roma), (Roma), (Lazio), (New York City FC), (Sampdoria), (Paris Saint-Germain).

Forwards: (Lazio), (Sampdoria), (Monaco), (Napoli), (Toronto), (Sevilla), (Southampton), (Palermo), (Juventus).

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