Balotelli dropped from Italy squad

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Concerns over the striker's fitness preceded him being left out of the Azzurri squad to face Portugal in the Nations League on Monday

Mario Balotelli has been left out of Italy's 23-man squad to face Portugal following criticism of his performance in the Azzurri's 1-1 draw with Poland on Friday.

Italy coach Roberto Mancini admitted the Nice striker did not play well against Poland and said "his fitness levels are an issue right now" before omitting Balotelli from his squad for Monday's match.

Former Juventus and Roma player Zbigniew Boniek accused Balotelli of being "15 kilos overweight" after his performance against Poland, which ended when he was replaced by Andrea Belotti after 62 minutes at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.

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There is no place in Mancini's squad for Davide Zappacosta, Lorenzo Pellegrini or Cristiano Biraghi, all of whom started the game against Poland.

Alessio Cragno, Daniele Rugani and Nicolo Zaniolo have also been left out of Italy's squad for the Nations League clash in Lisbon.

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