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Left off squad, Balotelli denied chance at Euros encore

Four years after his goals propelled Italy into the European Championship final, Mario Balotelli won’t even get a chance to play in this year’s tournament.

As expected, Balotelli was left out when Italy coach Antonio Conte named a preliminary 30-man squad for Euro 2016 on Monday.

On loan from Liverpool, Balotelli scored only one goal in 20 Serie A appearances for AC Milan this season.

Midfielder Andrea Pirlo, who is 37, was also left out, as was Sebastian Giovinco, who like Pirlo plays in Major League Soccer.

The forwards Conte selected were likely starters Eder and Graziano Pelle plus Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne and Simone Zaza.

Italy is in Group E — one of the toughest of the tournament — with Belgium, Ireland and Sweden.

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