De Rossi still out for Italy, Balotelli returns

Midfielder Daniele De Rossi was left off Italy’s squad for

upcoming matches against Estonia and Ireland while striker Mario

Balotelli has been recalled.

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.