Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli included in 24-man Italy squad for Spain friendly

The coach of the 2006 World Cup winners has made some surprising choices against the European and World champions as the team look to bounce back from a shock defeat
Mario Balotelli has been named in the Italy squad for the friendly match against Spain in Bari on August 10.

Balotelli, who recently indicated he was not happy with life at Manchester City, and Antonio Cassano, who is out of favour at AC Milan, are two surprises in the squad for the match.

Roma star Daniele De Rossi and Napoli keeper Morgan De Sanctis have been included in the squad after missing the team's last two matches, while Liverpool's Alberto Aquilani has also been named.

Cesare Prandelli has decided to call up two players from Serie B; Torino defender Angelo Ogbonna and Sampdoria midfielder Angelo Palombo.

Italy's last match ended in frustration, as the 2006 World Cup holders were defeated 2-0 by the Republic of Ireland on June 7.

Italy squad in full:

Goalkeepers:  Buffon (Juventus), De Sanctis (Napoli) Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders: Balzaretti (Palermo), Bonucci (Juventus) Cassani (Palermo), Chiellini (Juventus), Criscito (Zenit St Petersburg), Maggio (Napoli), Ogbonna (Torino), Ranocchia (Inter)

Midfielders: Aquilani (Liverpool), De Rossi (Roma), Marchisio (Juventus), Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Inter), Nocerino (Palermo), Palombo (Sampdoria), Pirlo (Juventus)

Forwards: Balotelli (Manchester City), Cassano (AC Milan), Giovinco (Parma), Pazzini (Inter), Rossi (Villarreal).