Balotelli returns, De Rossi still out for Italy

Balotelli returns, De Rossi still out for Italy

Published May. 23, 2011 7:26 p.m. ET

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 conduct.

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 (Villarreal).