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Pirlo, Giovinco called up by Italian national team

AndreaPirloItaly1-CostaRicaWorldCup2014 (Getty)



The days of high-profile players having to give up their national team aspirations when they move to Major League Soccer appear to be winding to a close.

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo have been called into the Italy team, while FC Dallas winger Fabian Castillo was also called up by Colombia for a friendly against Peru.

Giovinco and Pirlo will be part of the Italy team for a pair of Euro 2016 qualifiers. The Azzuri face Malta on Sept. 3 before playing Bulgaria at home on Sept. 6. Pirlo will be looking to add to his 115 caps, while Giovinco has represented Italy on 21 previous occasions.

Castillo could make his first appearance for Colombia against Peru at Red Bull Arena on Sept. 8. The 23-year-old was called into a squad that includes Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez.

The announcements follow the call-up for Orlando City’s star midfielder Kaka to the Brazilian National Team last week.


  1. I so confused. Playing in MLS is the only guarantee not to get looked at by your national team. Hmm…

  2. Why did Italy call up that hack who can’t tackle, can’t handle the speed and physicality of MLS and plays no defense.

    Obviously the Italian national team is a horrible judge of talent.

    People need to chill on the “Pirlo can’t handle MLS” narrative.

  3. Beckham got called up to the NT while in MLS.

    Though his call ups were mainly to be a sub and to help him chase the caps record for England.

    I wanna see a foreign player (age 20-25) who does well and receives his first call ups for his NT (preferably 1 ranked 1st-20th in the world).

    That says more as Pirlo is Pirlo. Hes world class albeit old. And Gio is well he has had like 20 caps in the past. Though if he is starting at euro2016 while still at TFC that says a lot

  4. This could become a common occurrence in a couple of years. What would be real progress? If a player plays for his national team but doesn’t start for his MLS team. That will take a while.


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