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Dublin: 15 °C Wednesday 27 August, 2014

Watch out Ireland, Mario Balotelli is set for Italy’s Euro campaign

The Italy manager Cesare Prandelli says the Manchester City striker will be recalled to the squad ahead of the summer.

Manchester City's Mario Balotelli leaving his hotel on Monday morning.
Manchester City's Mario Balotelli leaving his hotel on Monday morning.
Image: Eamonn and James Clarke/Eamonn and James Clarke/EMPICS Entertainment

ITALY COACH Cesare Prandelli has revealed that Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli will be recalled for Euro 2012.

The Azzurri are in the same group as Ireland, world and European champions Spain and Croatia.

Balotelli’s participation in the tournament appeared to be in real jeopardy after he was omitted from the squad to face the United States in February because of his poor disciplinary record in the Premier League.

His subsequent dismissal in City’s clash with Arsenal only appeared to diminish his hopes further. However, after apologising for his actions, the former Inter striker is now set to be welcomed back into the Italian fold in time for the Euros.

“Have I made peace with Balotelli? Yes, although to be honest we never argued in the first place,” Prandelli told RAI yesterdau.

“I was pleased that he took responsibility with his statements after the latest incident at Manchester City. I like those who stand up and accept responsibility for their actions.

“I never really thought of doing this without Balotelli, as he is a focal point of the national team.”

However, Prandelli ruled out calling up either Francesco Totti or Alessandro Del Piero for the competition unless his hand is forced by an injury crisis.

“If I should find myself in an emergency situation with the team, I would call on the old champions,” Prandelli said.  ”However, I have a project for Italy and it involves young players.

“We will evaluate some new faces ahead of the Euros. I called up (Fabio) Borini last time (against USA), so the youngsters can certainly dream of a place in the tournament.”

Prandelli also said that there will be a place in his squad for Antonio Cassano if he can prove his fitness after recently returning to action after five months out following an emergency heart procedure.

“We can bring him back and his enthusiasm is contagious,” Prandelli said. “He wants to play for the national team and I need players like him.”

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