Rossi misses out on Italian squad
Giuseppe Rossi has been left out of the Italy squad setting off for the World Cup in Brazil on Thursday, with Parma's Antonio Cassano preferred to the injury-plagued Fiorentina frontman.
Rossi played 71 minutes of yesterday's goalless draw against Ireland, but did not do enough to convince Cesare Prandelli that he was match fit and the coach has opted for Cassano.
US-born Rossi scored 16 league goals last season despite only starting two games in 2014 due to a long-term knee injury layoff.
Cassano shone as Parma finished sixth in Serie A and he will go to Brazil along with flamboyant Torino forwards Alessio Cerci and Ciro Immobile, who scored 35 league goals between them in Giampiero Ventura's exciting side.
Immobile is set to sign for Borussia Dortmund in the close season.
Italy lost midfielder Riccardo Montolivo to a broken leg following an accidental collision with Ireland defender Alex Pearce. Alberto Aquilani takes his place in the squad.
Paris St Germain midfielder Marco Verratti played his way into the squad following a good display against Ireland.
Napoli's Lorenzo creative attacker Lorenzo Insigne was preferred to AS Roma youngster Mattia Destro.
There were few surprises in goal or at the back with captain and keeper Gianliugi Buffon set to extend his record of 139 Italy appearances.
Inter Milan's Andrea Rannochia will remain in reserve given the injury niggles affecting a number of defenders.
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St Germain).
Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Gabriel Paletta (Parma).
Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Thiago Motta (Paris St Germain), Marco Parolo (Parma), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Marco Verratti (Paris St Germain).
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli).