AS Roma forward Fabio Borini has earned his first Italy call-up, but there is no place in Cesare Prandelli's squad to face the United States for Manchester City FC's Mario Balotelli.
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AS Roma forward Fabio Borini has earned his first international call-up, but Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has omitted Manchester City FC striker Mario Balotelli from his squad for Wednesday’s friendly encounter against the United States in Genoa.
Borini is enjoying an encouraging campaign with Roma after returning to Italian football last summer, the 20-year-old having joined Chelsea FC in 2007 before spending the end of last season on loan at Swansea City AFC. The former Bologna FC forward scored his seventh league goal of the season in his club’s 4-1 defeat at Atalanta BC on Sunday and earns promotion from the Under-21 side, for whom he has struck three times in ten appearances.
The decision to leave Balotelli out is a consequence of the four-match ban the striker received for violent conduct during City's 3-2 Premier League victory against Tottenham Hotspur FC in January. "We have to be fully prepared for everything that can happen on the pitch," explained Prandelli. "Players must understand they cannot react badly whenever something is not going their way and risk reducing the team to ten men. They need to have the strength to accept situations and move on."
Pablo Osvaldo, sent off during Roma's defeat on Sunday, has also been left out of the squad. Meanwhile, Prandelli has called up four goalkeepers following Emiliano Viviano’s full recovery from a serious knee injury. The Azzurri will face Spain, Croatia and the Republic of Ireland in Group C at UEFA EURO 2012.
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (SSC Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Emiliano Viviano (US Città di Palermo).
Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Davide Astori (Cagliari Calcio), Federico Balzaretti (US Città di Palermo), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Christian Maggio (SSC Napoli), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino FC).
Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (ACF Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus).
Forwards: Fabio Borini (AS Roma), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma FC), Alessandro Matri (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (FC Internazionale Milano).