Omission could mark the end of Andrea Pirlo's 14-year international career,
The decision by coach Antonio Conte to omit Sebastian Giovinco and Andrea Pirlo from Italy’s provisional 30-man Euro 2016 squad, may have been due to their decision to play their football in MLS.
The Toronto FC forward Giovinco, 29, and NYCFC midfielder Pirlo, 37, were left off of Conte’s squad, with the former Juventus coach admitting that their decision to play in the United States influenced his final selection.
“I spoke to Andrea, I needed to hear from him and we sent people to the US,” Conte said at a press conference. “However, we’ve made other choices and you have to accept them and deal with the consequences. Nothing was left to chance.
“We evaluated him and Giovinco, it’s normal that if you choose to go and play there then you can pay the consequences in footballing terms. We evaluated them technically, we didn’t leave anything to chance. Anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong, we went everywhere to have clear and precise ideas. I picked the 30 who I think will give me the most guarantees.”
Conte, who will become Chelsea manager following this summer’s Euros, worked with both Giovinco and Pirlo while in charge at Juventus. The duo most recently joined the national team in October for a pair of qualifiers.
The omission of Pirlo, who has been a mainstay of the Italy side since making his debut in 2002 and whose European Championship experience dates back to Euro 2004, could well mark the end of an illustrious international career.
Italy have been drawn alongside Belgium, Sweden, and the Republic of Ireland in Group E.
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), Daniele Rugani (Juventus).
Wingers: Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), 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).
Forwards: Eder (Inter), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Simone Zaza (Juventus).