• Thu. Aug 4th, 2022

Mario Balotelli back in Italy squad after 3-year absence

Mario Balotelli has returned to the Italy team, more than three years after his last appearance for the Azzurri.

The striker was included to Italy coach Roberto Mancini’s 35-man team for a three-day training camp this week, ahead of the World Cup playoffs in March. In September 2018, Balotelli, 31, made his last of 36 international appearances in a 1-1 tie against Poland in the Nations League.

Balotelli now plays for Adana Demirspor in Turkey, where he has eight goals in 19 league appearances.

Mancini has worked with Balotelli at Inter Milan and Manchester City, and Italy has lacked a regular goalscorer in recent years, with Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti struggling to translate their club form to the international stage.

Team:

Guardians: Marco Carnesecchi (Cremonese), Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Alex Meret (Naples), Salvatore Sirigu (Genoa).

Defenders: Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Davide Calabria (AC Milan), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Mattia De Sciglio (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Naples), Alessandro Florenzi (AC Milan), Luiz Felipe ( Lazio), Gianluca Mancini (Rome), Luca Pellegrini (Juventus), Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta), Rafael Tolói (Atalanta).

Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Inter Milan), Bryan Cristante (Rome), Nicolò Fagioli (Cremonese), Davide Frattesi (Sassuolo), Manuel Locatelli (Juventus), Matteo Pessina (Atalanta), Samuele Ricci (Empoli), Stefano Sensi (Inter Milan), Sandro Tonali (AC Milan).

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Adana Demirspor), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Naples), João Pedro (Cagliari), Giacomo Raspadori (Sassuolo), Gianluca Scamacca (Sassuolo), Mattia Zaccagni (Lazio), Nicolò Zaniolo (Rome).

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