Balotelli returns, De Rossi still out for Italy

Striker Mario Balotelli has been recalled but midfielder Daniele

De Rossi was left off Italy’s squad for upcoming matches against

Estonia and Ireland.

Balotelli and De Rossi both missed wins over Slovenia and

Ukraine in March after violating coach Cesare Prandelli’s code of


De Rossi is once again not included, after he ended the Serie A

season by serving a three-match ban for hitting an opponent.

Midfielder Andrea Pirlo returns after missing much of the season

with a knee injury.

Among the other forwards called up on Monday are Antonio

Cassano, Alessandro Matri and Giampaolo Pazzini.

Italy faces Estonia in a 2012 European Championship qualifier in

Modena on June 3, then takes on Ireland in a friendly in Liege,

Belgium, four days later.


Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu

(Palermo), Emiliano Viviano (Bologna).

Defenders: Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti

(Palermo), Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus),

Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Alessandro Gamberini (Fiorentina),

Christian Maggio (Napoli), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter Milan).

Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (Juventus), Sebastian Giovinco

(Parma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo

(Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Inter Milan), Antonio Nocerino

(Palermo), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan).

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Manchester City), Antonio Cassano (AC

Milan), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Alessandro Matri

(Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter Milan), Giuseppe Rossi