Italy manager Antonio Conte has decided against using Andrea Pirlo at this summer’s European Championships in France.
He follows a host of star names that will not be at Euro 2016, whether due to injury or non selection. Diego Costa, Fernando Torres, Juan Mata, IIkay Gundogan, Theo Walcott, and Marco Verratti are just some of the star names that will have the summer off.
Despite being 36 years of age, Pirlo could offer a wealth of experience to the younger members of the squad. Conte was in charge of Pirlo at Juventus and the two are believed to have enjoyed a good working relationship.
Since his move to the MLS with New York City, Pirlo has struggled with his fitness, and although his absence is not a huge surprise it does rob us fans of the chance to see the Italian maestro on the world stage for one final time.
Italy have injuries in midfield with both Marco Verratti and Claudio Marchisio both ruled out of the tournament due to injuries. If Pirlo had been at the required fitness level he may have given Conte a decision to make.
Liverpool striker, Mario Balotelli is also a notable absentee but that comes as little surprise.
Former Liverpool and Chelsea striker, Fabio Borini has been rewarded for his recent displays with Sunderland with a place in Conte’s provisional squad. Angelo Ogbonna has been selected after a fine season in the Premier League with West Ham United as has Southampton’s Graziano Pellè.
Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini are absent due to their involvement in their club cup finals as is Matteo Darmian, who is going to Wembley with Manchester United in the FA Cup final this weekend. They are expected to be restored to the squad of completion of their club duties.
After the club duties come to an end the squad could have a very different look.
Italy face Ireland, Belgium and Sweden in Group E at this summer’s tournament.
The Squad in full are as follows:
Goalkeepers: Federico Marchetti (Lazio), Antonio Mirante (Bologna), Marco Sportiello (Atalanta)
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Sassuolo), Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Armando Izzo (Genoa), Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham/ENG), Lorenzo Tonelli (Empoli)
Midfielders: Marco Benassi (Torino), Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Danilo Cataldi (Lazio), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Lorenzo De Silvestri (Sampdoria), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Emanuele Giaccherini (Bologna), Jorge Luiz Jorginho (Napoli), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Roberto Soriano (Sampdoria), Davide Zappacosta (Torino)
Forwards: Fabio Borini (Sunderland/ENG), Citadin Martins Eder (Inter Milan), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Leonardo Pavoletti (Genoa), Graziano Pellè (Southampton).
— Italy (@azzurri) May 16, 2016