Italy duo could return
Cesare Prandelli says Italy pair Mario Balotelli and Daniele De Rossi could play next week.
Last Updated: 21/03/11 3:41pm
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli says Mario Balotelli and Daniele De Rossi could feature in next week's international friendly against Ukraine.
City striker Balotelli and Roma midfielder De Rossi were both left out of the squad for Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier in Slovenia for breaching the Azzurri's code of conduct after their recent behaviour for their clubs.
But Prandelli says they could return to the set-up in time for the friendly in Kiev next Tuesday.
"Their omission is for one game," he said. "We will see for the game against Ukraine in Kiev."
Balotelli was sent off for a high tackle in last week's Europa League clash against Dynamo Kiev, while De Rossi was hit with a three-match ban by Uefa for elbowing an opponent in his side's UEFA Champions League defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk.
"One must win trying to be loyal and being a sportsman," added Prandelli.
"Our ethical code goes on at all costs, otherwise we would not be credible.
"It is understood by everyone and no-one has ever objected to it."
Prandelli revealed he has been in touch with Balotelli.
"Balotelli? What happened, happened," he added. "He is the first one to be disappointed. I spoke to him and, in a way, he asked me for help.
"He asked me how to avoid not always messing things up.
"I have not spoken to De Rossi but I read his latest comments and I was pleased."
Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon is worried the absence of De Rossi could weaken the Azzurri midfield against Slovenia.
He said: "I was not here when the national team's code of ethics was discussed.
"I am saddened that we will be without two important players like Daniele and Mario, especially Daniele, who has a lot of experience in international games.
"I don't know if I would have forgiven them but certain things are best left for the coach to decide."