With Serie A taking a break for the current round of international fixtures, we take a look at the Fiorentina players who have received international call-ups.
Facundo Roncaglia (Argentina)
It is a little surprising that Facundo Roncaglia has been selected for Argentina’s squad for their World Cup qualification games against Brazil and Colombia, ahead of his Viola teammate, Gonzalo Rodriguez. Roncaglia’s form this season has been somewhat average, whilst his disciplinary problems have seen him collect 5 yellow cards already.
Matias Fernandez (Chile)
Matias Fernandez has seen his appearances for Fiorentina restricted this season thanks to the excellent form of Borja Valero, Milan Badelj, Josep Ilicic and Matias Vecino. However, whenever he has played, he has done little wrong. He will be hoping to impress in Chile’s upcoming World Cup qualification matches against Colombia and Uruguay.
Milan Badelj and Nikola Kalinic (Croatia)
In this upcoming international week, Croatia have decided to play only one friendly, against Russia, in preparation for Euro 2016. Milan Badelj and Nikola Kalinic have been selected for the Croatia squad, with both hoping to continue the excellent form they have shown for the Viola so far this season.
Badelj will face stiff competition for a place in the Croatia midfield, given the quality of his compatriots such as Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, however he has made a significant number of appearances in the Balkan team’s qualifying campaign. Kalinic has been on fire for Fiorentina this season, scoring seven goals in 11 league appearances, although at international level he has yet to establish himself in the starting line-up given the competition he faces for the striking role from Mario Mandzukic, Ivica Olic and Nickic Jelavic. Kalinic will be hoping his domestic form earns him a starting place against Russia, so that he can show Niko Kovac, the Croatian coach, that he deserves a starting berth in France this summer.
Davide Astori (Italy)
Davide Astori’s call up to the Azzurri squad for the friendlies against Belgium and Romania is richly deserved given his form this season. He has been an integral part, along with Gonzalo Rodriguez, of a Fiorentina defence which has conceded only nine league goals to date. His acquisition, on loan from Cagliari with an option to buy, was a shrewd piece of business by the Viola.
Jakub Blaszczykowski (Poland)
Poland qualified for Euro 2016 by beating the Republic of Ireland in the last qualifying match of their group. Jakub Blaszczykowski was a key player in their qualification, and has been selected for the two fixtures against fellow qualifiers Iceland and Czech Republic. Blaszczykowski’s form has been consistently good this season, and he has brought much-needed experience to the Viola right side.
Ciprian Tatarusanu (Romania)
Ciprian Tatarusanu has been called up to Romania’s squad for their international friendly against Italy. The Viola goalkeeper has been in excellent form for both club and country this season, keeping seven clean sheets in 12 league games so far.
Nenad Tomovic (Serbia)
This has been a mixed season so far for the Serbian international. He has featured in all of Fiorentina’s Europa League fixtures, but has had limited time on the pitch in Serie A. When he has played, he has acquitted himself well, bar the Serie A game away to Napoli where he was not alone in putting in an indifferent performance. Serbia play the Czech Republic on Friday evening, and are likely to look use this fixture as the starting point to rebuild their team after disastrous Euro 2016 qualifying campaign which saw them finish second bottom of their group with 4 points out of a possible 24.
Josep Ilicic (Slovenia)
Over the next 7 days, Slovenia play Ukraine in a double header play-off to decide who makes it to Euro 2016. Ilicic has been in exceptional form in the past few weeks for Fiorentina, and the Slovenians will be hoping he carries that into these international fixtures. Ilicic has had a hand in nine goals for the Viola this season, scoring 6 and assisting 3 in 12 Serie A and Europa League appearances, and has become an integral part of Paulo Sousa’s first choice team.
Federico Bernardeschi (Italy Under 21)
Federico Bernardeschi is one of the rising stars of the Italy Under-21 set-up, alongside Marco Benassi (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Alessio Romagnoli and Gianluigi Donnarumma (both of AC Milan) and Daniele Rugani (Juventus). After his sending-off against the Republic of Ireland in Italy’s previous fixture, Bernardeschi will miss the game against Serbia on Friday, but will be available to play against Lithuania on Tuesday.
Whilst Bernardeschi’s talent was obvious to most, his performances this season have come as a welcome surprise. He has settled into the Viola team well, and his work-rate and versatility have made him an unexpected shining star in what has been an excellent start to the season for the Viola.