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Balotelli misses out on Italy squad despite resurgent Marseille form

7:28 PM WAT 15/03/2019
Roberto Mancini Mario Balotelli
Roberto Mancini has named a 29-man squad for the Italian's two upcoming Euro 2020 qualification matches at the end of the month

Marseille striker Mario Balotelli has been omitted from the Italy squad for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Finland and Liechtenstein.

The 28-year-old has been in superb form since he moved from Nice to Marseille in January, where he has netted five goals in just seven Ligue 1 games.

As a result, many believed he may have earned a call-up to Roberto Mancini’s squad, especially given the close relationship between the two from their time with Inter and Manchester City.

Balotelli did manage to end a four-year exile from the national team last year, and he was even played against Poland in the Nations League in September. 

However, this time around he has been left disappointed and has been left out of a third consecutive squad by his former boss.

Another shock name to be excluded from the 29-man squad was Torino captain Andrea Belotti, who has enjoyed another impressive season at Il Toro.

In their place, Mancini has opted for 36-year-old Fabio Quagliarella, who could make his first appearance for the Azzurri in eight years. The attacker has enjoyed a phenomenal campaign for club side Sampdoria and has netted a remarkable 20 goals in 26 Serie A appearances.

Juventus forward Moise Kean has again been selected after he made his international debut in November’s win against the USA.

Other notable inclusions in the squad are the uncapped Alessio Cragno, Armando Izzo, Gianluca Mancini, Nicolo Zaniolo and Leonardo Pavoletti.

There is only one Premier League representative in the Italian side, in Chelsea midfielder Jorginho.

The Azzuri start their Euro 2020 qualification campaign with a home tie against Finland on March 23, before another fixture on Italian soil when they host Liechtenstein three days later.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Mattia Perin, Salvatore Sirigu

Defenders: Cristiano Biraghi, Leandro Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Alessandro Florenzi, Armando Izzo, Gianluca ManciniCristiano Piccini, Alessio Romagnoli, Leonardo Spinazzola

Midfielders: Nicolo Barella, Bryan Cristante, Jorginho, Stefano Sensi, Marco Verratti, Nicolo Zaniolo

Forwards: Federico Bernardeschi, Federico Chiesa, Stephan El Shaarawy, Vincenzo Grifo, Ciro Immobile, Moise Kean, Kevin Lasagna, Leandro Pavoletti, Matteo Politano, Fabio Quagliarella