Italy Name Euro 2012 Squad: Mario Balotelli Given Number Nine Shirt

Group C nation make their selection.

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Italian boss Cesare Prandelli has given Man City striker Mario Balotelli his full backing ahead of the Euro 2012 finals and has gone as far as to name the young forward as his number nine. Indeed the Etihad Stadium man may edge out veteran Antonio Di Natale for a first team spot at the finals.

Balotelli is one of only three players in Prandelli’s 23 man squad who are not based in Italy, the others being former Inter Milan midfielder Thiago Motta and keeper Salvatore Sirigu who are now both at big spending PSG.

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci is included despite being mentioned in Italy’s latest match-fixing investigation.

Italy squad:

Goalkeepers: Buffon (Juventus), De Sanctis (Napoli), Sirigu (Paris St Germain).

Defenders: Abate (AC Milan), Balzaretti (Palermo), Barzagli (Juventus), Bonucci (Juventus), Chiellini (Juventus), Maggio (Napoli), 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), Giovinco (Parma).

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