Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has left Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli and Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi out of the Azzurri squad for their upcoming games against Slovenia and Ukraine.
Italy will travel to Slovenia for Friday’s Euro 2012 qualifier in Ljubljana and will then play a friendly in Kiev against Ukraine the following Tuesday.
Both players have been dropped for reportedly breaking Prandelli’s ’code of ethics’ after their recent behaviour for their clubs.
Balotelli was shown a red card for a high tackle on Goran Popov in last week’s Europa League match at Dynamo Kiev, while De Rossi was handed a three-match ban by UEFA for elbowing an opponent in Roma’s Champions League defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk.
“There is a code of ethics and I have broken it with a horrible gesture as it has been described by the press,” De Rossi said.
“I hope I can return very soon to the national team.”
Prandelli has handed Cesena midfielder Marco Parolo his first call-up, while Alberto Gilardino, Claudio Marchisio and Davide Santon return to the squad.
Italy squad to face Slovenia and Ukraine: G Buffon (Juventus), S Sirigu (Palermo), E Viviano (Bologna); D Astori (Cagliari), F Balzaretti (Palermo), L Bonucci (Juventus), G Chiellini (Juventus), D Criscito (Genoa), D Gastaldello (Sampdoria); C Maggio (Napoli), A Ranocchia (Inter Milan), D Santon (Cesena), A Aquilani (Juventus), C Marchisio (Juventus), S Mauri (Lazio), R Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Inter Milan), A Nocerino (Palermo), M Parolo (Cesena); A Cassano (AC Milan), A Gilardino (Fiorentina), S Giovinco (Parma), A Matri (Juventus), G Pazzini (Inter Milan), G Rossi (Villarreal).