TRENDING IN 48-Hrs

Mario Balotelli named in Italy squad for first time since 2018

For the first time since 2018, Mario Balotelli has been named in the Italy squad as the European champions plan for their World Cup play-off semi-final.

The 31 years old who is a former Manchester City and Liverpool striker, has not featured for his country since September 2018.

Balotelli is one of 35 players named for a three-day training camp after scoring nine times in 21 appearances across all competitions this season, for his club Adana Demirspor in Turkey.

Italy will face North Macedonia on 24 March in a World Cup play-off semi-final.

Balotelli has a record of 14 goals in 36 games for his country, but has earned only three caps since the 2014 World Cup.

This week’s training camp is one of Roberto Mancini’s final opportunities to get his players together before the North Macedonia match.

Balotelli worked under Mancini earlier in his career at Inter Milan and Manchester City.

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