Mario Balotelli could make his first appearance for Italy in nearly four years after being named in a 30-man squad by new coach Roberto Mancini.
MILAN (AP) Mario Balotelli could make his first appearance for Italy in nearly four years after being named in a 30-man squad by new coach Roberto Mancini.
Balotelli last played for Italy in the 2014 World Cup. He was called up by Antonio Conte in November of that year but was forced to withdraw from the squad with injury.
Mancini, who worked with Balotelli at Inter Milan and Manchester City, was confirmed as Italy's new coach on Monday.
He has named five new players in his first squad on Saturday: Chelsea defender Emerson Palmieri, Atalanta defender Mattia Caldara, Torino midfielder Daniele Baselli, Crotone midfielder Rolando Mandragora and Sassuolo forward Domenico Berardi.
Italy, which failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades, faces Saudi Arabia, France and the Netherlands in friendlies. Balotelli has enjoyed two good seasons with Nice, scoring 43 goals since his arrival to the French club.