Rome: Striker Mario Balotelli and veteran playmaker Andrea Pirlo have both been left out of Italy’s 30-man football preliminary squad for Euro 2016 which was announced on May 23.
Balotelli, who had scored a brace against Germany four years back, was expected to be left out by chief coach Antonio Conte. The 25-year-old managed to score only one goal in his whole Serie A season for AC Milan, where he is loan from Liverpool.
Pirlo, who is now 37, was left out alongside Sebastian Giovinco, who too plies his trade in Major League Soccer (MLS) like the former. Pirlo also played his part in the Euro qualifiers.
Milan and Juventus legend Pirlo was one of Italy’s key men during their FIFA World Cup triumph in 2006.
Italy are in Group E one of the toughest of the tournament with Belgium, Ireland and Sweden.
Preliminary Italy squad for Euro 2016:
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Federico Marchetti (Lazio), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain)
Defenders: Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Davide Zappacosta (Torino)
Midfielders: Marco Benassi (Torino), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Emanuele Giaccherini (Bologna), Jorginho (Napoli), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Stefano Sturaro (Juventus), Antonio Candreva (Lazio).
Forwards: Eder (Inter), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Graziano Pellè (Southampton), Simone Zaza (Juventus), Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (AS Roma).