NEWS
Tuesday March 22 2011
Thiago Motta fit to face Slovenia

Inter midfielder Thiago Motta should be fit in time to play for Italy against Slovenia in a Euro 2012 qualifier on Friday.

The 28-year-old of Brazilian descent trained this morning, indicating that he has recovered from an injury to his left knee.

Motta's club-mate Andrea Ranocchia was given the day off today to see if his own knee problem heals.

However, it seems unlikely that he will play a part against Slovenia.

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NEWS
Tuesday March 22 2011
De Rossi and Balotelli 'will return'

Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli “will return to the Nazionale” after breaching the code of ethics, says FIGC President Giancarlo Abete.

The two players were dropped for this week's Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia and friendly in Ukraine after disciplinary problems in their club games.

“We need consistent behaviour from those who represent Italy at international level and that led to the refusal to call some players,” commented Abete.

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NEWS
Tuesday March 22 2011
Ilicic: 'Slovenia can beat Italy'

Palermo star Josip Ilicic is confident Slovenia can cause an upset in the Euro 2012 qualifier on Friday.

“Slovenia are going out there for the three points,” said the creative midfielder who joined Serie A last summer.

“My intention is to come back to Palermo as a winner and with a grin from ear to ear.

“I think the game with Italy will be decided exclusively by individual incidents, so naturally I hope the luck will turn our way.”

Italy currently lead Group C with 10 points, followed by Slovenia on seven.

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NEWS
Tuesday March 22 2011
Zahovic: 'Slovenia will win easily!'

Slovenia legend Zlatko Zahovic has been bruising in his assessment of the Italy squad. “You've only got two or three good players.”

The two sides go head-to-head in the Euro 2012 qualifier on Friday evening and the Gazzetta dello Sport asked Zahovic for his predictions.

“We'll win easily on Friday, 2-0. More than that, I'll say Slovenia will have 70 per cent possession. Am I exaggerating? No,” said the ex-hitman.

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NEWS
Tuesday March 22 2011
Kek: 'Italy a football super-power'

Slovenia manager Matjaz Kek believes his side will be particularly inspired against “football super-power” Italy.

The teams go head-to-head in their Euro 2012 qualifier on Friday evening in Ljubljana.

“These challenges really motivate teams, so bring on Italy,” said the manager.

“We know that we are hosting a side that has won the World Cup four times and I'd call them a football super-power in terms of tradition and world class players.”

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NEWS
Monday March 21 2011
Parolo: Italy call up is a dream

Cesena midfielder Marco Parolo considers his call up to the Italy squad to be a dream come true.

The 26-year-old was a surprise inclusion on Cesare Prandelli's list despite having an excellent month in which he scored against Juventus and Sampdoria.

"Until two days ago I hadn't even thought about it," Parolo admitted.

"It's a dream come true for me and I'm still finding it hard to believe.

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NEWS
Monday March 21 2011
'Balotelli asked for help'

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli claims Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has asked for his help.

The 20-year-old striker was sent off in a Europa League tie against Dynamo Kiev last week.

Roberto Mancini was very critical of Balotelli and he wasn't called up to represent Italy.

The FIGC have implemented a code of ethics outlawing unsporting conduct.

Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi was also left out after his elbow against Shakhtar Donetsk.

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NEWS
Sunday March 20 2011
Parolo gets debut call

Cesare Prandelli has frozen out Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli, but called Marco Parolo for the games against Slovenia and Ukraine.

Italy face two matches, as they travel to Ljubljana for the Euro 2012 qualifier on Friday March 25 and then to Kiev for the friendly against Ukraine on Tuesday March 29.

As expected, Roma midfielder De Rossi and Manchester City striker Balotelli have been frozen out for breaking the ‘code of ethics.'

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NEWS
Sunday March 20 2011
De Rossi: 'I accept Italy exclusion'

Daniele De Rossi concedes “Cesare Prandelli does not owe me an explanation. I accept my exclusion from the Italy squad” on disciplinary reasons.

The Roma midfielder has been dropped for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia and friendly with Ukraine.

He, and Mario Balotelli, broke the ‘code of ethics' by receiving bans for violent conduct during their club outings in Europe.

“I accept my exclusion from the Italy squad, because I know there is a code of ethics and the rules are there to be respected,” said De Rossi.

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NEWS
Sunday March 20 2011
Italy to drop De Rossi and Balotelli

Cesare Prandelli will name his Italy squad today for the Euro 2012 qualifier in Slovenia and friendly with Ukraine.

The Coach drew up a code of ethics for his players in October and has pledged to drop anyone who breaks it, at club or international level.

This is why Roma's Daniele De Rossi and Manchester City's Mario Balotelli will be left at home for these games, having been punished for violent conduct in Europe.

Andrea Ranocchia, Mattia Cassani and Andrea Pirlo are all suffering from injuries, so also miss out.

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