There isn't a lot of Juventus-related news happening right now. Want to know something exciting? Here ya go: Juventus returns to training on Wednesday with a less-than-full squad who will, in all likelihood, be barked orders at for an hour or two by a certain Antonio Conte. Why is that? Well, it's the international break, everybody's favorite two-week break from calcio.
Say what you want about the international break and the lack of calcio that comes along with it, but it's not exactly something that we can escape. Teams need to qualify for next year's World Cup. Well, some teams not named Italy, so they can all stress out about whether or not they're going to Brazil.
And maybe the international break is what some of these Juve players need. Lord knows Conte is going to do some screaming at those who won't be on international duty the next seven or 10 days. Just as long as nobody gets injured, right? Yeah, that.
Now, the important info. No need for 'Where's Waldo' or anything like that.
ItalJuve: Gigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Pirlo
Wait, Juventus has a big contingent in the Italy squad? Somebody's gotta tell me about this sooner.
That probably didn't go over as well as I thought.
/turns of sarcasm font/
With World Cup qualification signed, sealed and delivered at Juventus Stadium last month, you'd think Cesare Prandelli might give some of his loyal servants a bit of a rest, right? Nah, apparently not.
Outside of a couple tweaks here and there, Italy's squad basically resembles the one that was there in Turin. Hey, Prandelli apparently likes what he has in front of him right now and doesn't plan on changing things drastically. Oh, well. A guy could hope even if Prandelli isn't gonna listen. So much for Pirlo having a break.
(Side note: Hell yeah, Giuseppe Rossi is back and that's awesome.)
Where and when: Italy vs. Denmark in Copenhagen, Oct. 11, 20:15 CET; Armenia vs. Italy at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples, Oct. 15, 20:45 CET
Chile: Arturo Vidal, Mauricio Isla
Based on King Arturo's Twitter feed, the Chilean duo are logging some serious frequent flyer miles. Maybe they can cash them in for a summer vacation to a private island somewhere, but for now they're going to try and get Chile into the World Cup.
Where and when: Colombia vs. Chile in Baranquilla, Oct. 11, 16:00 CET; Chile vs. Ecuador in Santiago, Oct. 15, 20:30 CET
France: Paul Pogba
I think we can say that the 20-year-old midfielder is now a full-fledged member of Didier Deschamps' squad. No more of the non-senior squad tournaments that he will, I shall assume, dominate just like he did at the Under-20 World Cup. Now he's up with the big boys trying to get to the big boy tournament. The rest of France's squad, however...
Where and when: France vs. Australia (friendly) in Paris, Oct. 11, 21:00 CET; France vs. Finland in Paris, Oct. 15, 21:00 CET
Ghana: Kwadwo Asamoah
ONE GAME? Man, Asa, you're getting off easy.
Where and when: Egypt vs. Ghana in Komasi, Oct. 15, 16:00 CET