By ANDREW DAMPF
2014-05-21 11:22 PM
ROME (AP) -- Serie A leading marksman Ciro Immobile is getting married on Friday. He's hoping for a honeymoon in Brazil - playing for Italy in the World Cup.
The preliminary squad member has two weeks to make coach Cesare Prandelli's 23-man cut.
"I'm going to give 200 percent. I want to show that what I did in the league wasn't by chance," Immobile said on Wednesday during the second day of the Azzurri's preparations in Florence.
Immobile's Serie A-topping 22 goals in 33 appearances for Torino have given him a chance, but competition in the squad is stiff.
Prandelli will likely take only five of the seven forwards in his preliminary 30-man squad to Brazil. With Mario Balotelli the only forward assured of a spot, Immobile's competition includes Antonio Cassano of Parma, Torino teammate Alessio Cerci, Mattia Destro of Roma, Lorenzo Insigne of Napoli, and Giuseppe Rossi of Fiorentina.
"Of the seven forwards, my quality level might be the lowest of all, but physically I can hold my own," said Immobile, who helped Pescara to the Serie B title and led the second division with 28 goals in 2011-12.
"(Torino coach Giampiero Ventura) really helped me become a modern forward. All coaches now look for forwards who not only score goals but also run back and help in midfield."
In March, Immobile made his Italy debut in a 1-0 friendly loss to World Cup-holder Spain.
Now he is the subject of transfer talks, with German power Borussia Dortmund reportedly offering 15 million euros ($20 million) for his services.
"My goal is to play with a club in the Champions League," Immobile said.
But Immobile's contract is co-owned by Torino and Juventus, and Juventus reportedly wants at least 20 million euros for him, considering that it will have to share half of the transfer fee with Torino.
For now, though, Immobile is focusing on marrying his girlfriend, Jessica. The couple already has a baby girl, who was born last year.
Fortunately for Immobile, Prandelli is giving the players a three-day break this weekend.
"It's very emotional," Immobile said. "I'm a bit anxious. It's only two days away."
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