Italy name provisional EURO 2016 squad; Giovinco, Balotelli, Pirlo out


Italian national team manager Antonio Conte has named a provisional 30-man roster for the 2016 European Championships in France this summer.

The big surprise: Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco is not included.

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Giovinco, 29, has been ripping it up in Major League Soccer since he joined TFC in March 2015 — he was the top goalscorer in MLS in 2015 and was named the league MVP — but the former Juventus playmaker hasn’t done enough to convince Conte he’s worthy of a spot in his squad this summer.

Neither has Andrea Pirlo, a long-time midfielder for Conte at Juve and a 2006 World Cup winner with Itatly. The New York City midfielder has been ever-present for Patrick Vieria’s side this season but at the age of 37, perhaps Conte wanted to go for younger players for his final tournament in charge of the Azzurri.

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Conte will take charge at Chelsea after the tournament in France is over and has named Eder, Graziano Pelle, Stephan El Shaarawy, Ciro Immobile, Simone Zaza, Federico Bernardeschi  and Lorenzo Insigne as his seven forward options. Notice there’s no spot for Mario Balotelli of Liverpool as the temperamental striker currently on loan at AC Milan has only scored three goals in 23 appearances this season. There’s no real surprise Balotelli hasn’t been included as Conte has only named him in one of his squads since taking charge in 2014.

Below is the full Italy squad in full as Conte has to cut seven players before the June 2 deadline. They face Scotland and Finland in friendlies ahead of the tournament where they’ve been drawn in Group E alongside Belgium, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland.

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Federico Marchetti (Lazio), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders: Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Davide Zappacosta (Torino)

Midfielders: Marco Benassi (Torino), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Emanuele Giaccherini (Bologna), Jorginho (Napoli), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Stefano Sturaro (Juventus), Antonio Candreva (Lazio).

Forwards: Eder (Inter), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Simone Zaza (Juventus), Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma)