Italy’s national squad is Balotelli free but this man finds a place
Cesare Prandelli named a 23 man squad which was top heavy with Juve talent. In form striker Alessandro Matri joins compatriots, Ginaluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo.
Prandelli practically included most of Juve’s defense, the stingiest in the Serie with just 15 goals conceded. In Marchisio, they have a clever playmaker while the ageless Pirlo finds rejuvenation (pun intended) at his new club.
The most glaring omission was that of Balotelli and the obvious reason is the Italian’s manager’s distaste for his extra-curricular activities on and off the pitch. The latest infraction being the four match suspension received for a stamp on Scott Parker in the Tottenham match. There is an obvious desire to remain free from these distractions, free from the Balotelli “what did he do now?” media circus. Prandelli has not excluded the City striker from the Euro campaign in a wait and watch mode explaining he “still lacked maturity” and was a “bit rough.”
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St Germain), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo).
Defenders: Ignazio Abate (Milan), Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti (Palermo), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Zenit St. Petersburg), Christian Maggio (Naples), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino).
Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Paris St Germain), Antonio Nocerino (Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus).
Forwards: Fabio Borini (Roma), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma), Alessandro Matri (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter).
Well, no Giuseppe Rossi to get all bent out of shape on a love of country controversy, eh?? Maybe Prandelli really wants to be distraction free. We shall see if the USA vs Italy match generates enough heat in keeping with past encounters.