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De Rossi dropped over punch

Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi has been omitted from the Italy squad for Wednesday's friendly against Spain in Madrid for breaking head coach Cesare Prandelli's code of ethics.

Azzurri vice-captain De Rossi was left out after punching Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi during Saturday's goalless Serie A match in Rome.


Rossi to see knee specialist

Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi will travel to the United States this week to see a knee specialist in order to confirm the extent of his injury and his recovery time.

The Italy international was hurt in his side's 1-0 triumph over Livorno on Sunday and tests have so far ruled out Rossi needing to undergo surgery to his right knee.

Rossi has previously undergone two operations to reconstruct cruciate ligaments on the same knee.

Giaccherini ready to fight for a spot

Sunderland midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini hopes to have boosted his chances of playing in next summer's World Cup after his performance against Nigeria in Monday's international friendly.

I am delighted with my performance and that of the team. It's a pity that just when we were playing at our best, Nigeria scored twice.

I think in any case we reacted well and we were able to draw.

We really wanted to do well in our last friendly and I think we handed a good performance.

I believe that when the important games begin Italy will be ready.

I just hope to continue to do well and conquer a place for the tournament in Brazil.

– Sunderland winger Emanuele Giaccherini


Honours even at the Cottage

Shola Ameobi scored a superb volley. Credit: PA

Italy and Nigeria shared the honours in a lively friendly at Craven Cottage on Monday night.

Giuseppe Rossi put Italy ahead early on but Nigeria hit back with two goals in five minutes before half-time, Bright Dike levelling before Newcastle's Shola Ameobi put the African Nations Cup champions ahead.

However, Sunderland forward Emanuele Giaccherini equalised for Italy in the 47th minute as the clash finished 2-2.

Mario Balotelli was back in the UK. Credit: PA

Rossi misses out

Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi is likely to be denied an emotional return to Azzurri duty due to tonsillitis.

Rossi, who has come back from two anterior cruciate ligament injuries to become Serie A's top scorer this season with 11 goals for Fiorentina, sat out training on Thursday morning and is unlikely to be risked in Friday night's friendly against Germany in Milan.

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