Four new faces in Italy squad
Antonio Cassano has beem omitted from Italy coach Cesare Prandelli's squad for next week's friendly with Romania in Klagenfurt, Austria. The Italy boss included four uncapped players in his selection.
Cassano had been an integral part of Prandelli's team, with two goals in three UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying matches, but he has not played for Sampdoria in November after reportedly insulting his club president. Sampdoria have since announced their intention to cancel Cassano's contract unilaterally, leading Prandelli to leave the talented but troublesome creator out of his squad.
Defenders Federico Balzaretti (Palermo) and Andrea Ranocchia (Genoa) and midfielders Alessandro Diamanti (Brescia) and Cristian Ledesma (Lazio) are the four players called into the Italy squad for the first time.
Prandelli is also able to call on Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, Inter Milan full-back Davide Santon and midfielder Alberto Aquilani, who is on loan at Juventus from Liverpool, after all three overcame injury problems.
Key centre-back Giorgio Chiellini, who appears to be suffering from injury was not called up.
Goalkeepers: Antonio Mirante (Parma), Salvatore Sirigu (Palermo), Emiliano Viviano (Bologna)
Defenders: Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti (Palermo), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Daniele Gastaldello (Sampdoria), Andrea Ranocchia (Genoa), Davide Santon (Inter Milan)
Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (Liverpool/ENG), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Alessandro Diamanti (Brescia), Cristian Ledesma (Lazio), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan), Stefano Mauri (Lazio)
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Manchester City/ENG), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal/ESP), Fabio Quagliarella (Juventus)