Tuesday August 13 2013
Balotelli and Messi miss game

Both Mario Balotelli and Lionel Messi are out of Wednesday’s Italy-Argentina friendly.

Balotelli picked up a slight knee problem on Monday and has been sent home, as he does not want to risk anything ahead of Milan’s Champions League play-off with PSV Eindhoven next week.

“He has a slight swelling in the right knee, the one that underwent surgery and therefore every now and then swells up,” explained Professor Enrico Castellacci.

“There is some liquid in there, but nothing worrying.”

Messi did not take part in last night’s game between ranks in Rome and told journalists today “I won’t be playing.”

Both Balotelli and Messi held off leaving their teams until today’s meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Italy have already lost Andrea Barzagli to injury for this game.

Updated Italy squad for Argentina: 1 Buffon, 13 Marchetti, 12 Sirigu; 15 Antonelli, 4 Astori, 19 Bonucci, 3 Chiellini, 26 De Silvestri, 2 Maggio, 5 Ranocchia; 7 Aquilani, 6 Candreva, 17 Cerci, 16 De Rossi, 23 Diamanti, 24 Florenzi, 22 Giaccherini, 8 Marchisio, 18 Montolivo, 21 Pirlo, 10 Verratti; 14 El Shaarawy, 11 Gilardino, 25 L Insigne, 20 Osvaldo