By PA Sport
Last Updated: 31/05/17 10:47pm
Gianluca Lapadula scored a hat-trick as a new-look Italy team thrashed their enclaved neighbours San Marino 8-0.
At 27-years-old, the AC Milan striker was among the oldest players in an experimental side given an opportunity by Azzurri boss Giampiero Ventura to prove their worth ahead of bigger tests to come.
Lapadula both opened the scoring and ensured Italy went into the break at Empoli’s Stadio Carlo Castellani 4-0 up after Gian Marco Ferrari and Andrea Petagna notched their first senior goals.
Atalanta’s star defender Mattia Caldara, who will join Juventus in July 2018, got the ball rolling in the second half with a headed goal on his Italy debut, with Lapadula sealing his treble with a clever chip.
Substitute Matteo Politano of Sassuolo also marked his maiden Italy appearance with a goal, this one scored from close range, and there was time for further embarrassment for San Marino as Giovanni Bonini put through his own net.
Italy next tackle Uruguay at the Allianz Riviera in Nice before facing Liechtenstein in a World Cup qualifying match in Udine on June 11.