Pirlo and Balotelli recalled to Italy squad

Updated: 24 May 2011 17:51 IST

Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli have been recalled by coach Cesare Prandelli to the Italy squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia in Modena on June 3.

Pirlo and Balotelli recalled to Italy squad
©

Rome:

Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli have been recalled by coach Cesare Prandelli to the Italy squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia in Modena on June 3.

Pirlo missed the last qualifying match against Slovenia in March due to injury while Balotelli was excluded for disciplinary reasons.

Daniele De Rossi, who served a three-game ban at the end of the season for elbowing an opponent, has not been called up.

De Rossi was barred from the squad for the game in Ljubljana because he was suspended by UEFA for having punched Dario Srna during a Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk.

At the time he said he respected the Italy national team's code of conduct and that he hoped it would be his last exclusion.

Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci has also been dropped in favour of Fiorentina's Alessandro Gamberini in the 25-man squad.

Juve still have five players in the squad, more than any other club, and that doesn't include Pirlo who has been released by AC Milan and is on the verge of joining the Turin giants.

Manchester City striker Balotelli is one of only two foreign-based players in the squad alongside Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi, a reported target for Barcelona and Inter Milan.

Italy are in total control of Qualifying Group C with a five-point lead over their nearest rivals, and a game in hand.

Victory would leave them needing only two more wins from their final four games to ensure top spot in the group and a place in Poland and Ukraine next year.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu (Palermo), Emiliano Viviano (Bologna)

Defenders: Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti and Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Alessandro Gamberini (Fiorentina), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter Milan)

Midfielders: Alberto Aquiliani and 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/ENG), Antonio Cassano (AC Milan), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma), Alessandro Matri (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter Milan), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal/ESP)

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