Italy's Mario Balotelli out of squad for World Cup
Italy's Mario Balotelli out of squad for World Cup

Mario Balotelli was not given a place in Italy's squad for the Football World Cup playoffs and the European champion will not even get the services of midfielder Manuel Locatelli as he was found to be positive for the coronavirus. Italy will take on North Macedonia in Polaro, Sicily on Thursday.  

If the team wins this match, it is going to face the winner of the match between Portugal and Turkey for a place in this year's World Cup in Qatar.   Italy has also not qualified for the 2018 World Cup. If this happens this time too, it will be a very bad situation for the four-time champion. Balotelli was at a 3-day training camp in Italy in January.  

The Italian Football Federation said on Friday that Locatelli is due to join the team after his isolation. That means he's not going to be available until the second match of the playoffs. Forward Federico Chisa has also been out of the squad since January after a knee surgery. At the same time, centre backs Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci have returned.   

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