30th May, 2012
Mario Balotelli has been given the squad number 9 jersey for Euro 2012 by Italy coach Cesare Prandelli.
Prandelli left Balotelli, 21, out of his squad in February but recently claimed he trusts the Manchester City striker “100%”.
The ex-Inter Milan man’s squad number suggests he will play a key role.
Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci is included despite being mentioned in Italy’s latest match-fixing investigation.
Bonucci has been linked to match-fixing in testimony from a probe in Bari, where he used to play, but is not under formal investigation and has denied any wrongdoing.
On Monday, Italy omitted Zenit St Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito from the squad after he was questioned by police as part of the same investigation.
Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia and Siena striker Mattia Destro were omitted by Prandelli as he reduced his squad to 23.
Veteran Udinese forward Antonio Di Natale, 34, made the final squad, despite never having featured under Prandelli, while AC Milan striker Antonio Cassano is also included after returning from minor heart surgery .
Italy start their Euro 2012 campaign against Spain on 10 June.
Prandelli’s side’s friendly against Luxembourg in Parma on Tuesday was cancelled after an earthquake struck the region near the northern city earlier in the day.
In the Italian squad are goalkeepers Buffon (Juventus), De Sanctis (Napoli) and Sirigu (Paris St Germain), Defenders: Abate (AC Milan), Balzaretti (Palermo), Barzagli (Juventus), Bonucci (Juventus), Chiellini (Juventus), Maggio (Napoli) and Ogbonna (Torino).
Midfielders: De Rossi (Roma), Diamanti (Bologna), Giaccherini (Juventus), Marchisio (Juventus), Montolivo (Fiorentina), Motta (Paris St Germain), Nocerino (AC Milan), Pirlo (Juventus).
Forwards: Balotelli (Manchester City), Borini (Roma), Cassano (Milan), Di Natale (Udinese) and Giovinco (Parma).