- Associated Press - Monday, May 23, 2016

ROME (AP) - There will be no encore performance for Mario Balotelli at the European Championship.

Four years after his goals propelled Italy into the Euro 2012 final, Balotelli was left out as expected when 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.

Another notable absence was Giuseppe Rossi, the injury-plagued United States-born forward who finished the season on loan at Levante.

The forwards Conte selected were Brazilian-born Eder and Graziano Pelle - the likely starters - 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.

Conte will name his final 23-man squad for the tournament on May 31.

Balotelli hasn’t played for Italy since the Azzurri were eliminated in the first round of the 2014 World Cup.

Since Conte replaced Cesare Prandelli, who resigned following the 2014 World Cup, he has called up Balotelli only once. But Balotelli left the team with an injury before getting a chance to play in November 2014.

At Euro 2012, Balotelli scored both goals in Italy’s 2-1 semifinal win over Germany. Having also scored against Ireland, Balotelli ended the tournament with three goals and was joint top-scorer along with five other players.

In all, Balotelli has scored 13 goals in 33 appearances for the national team, including the winner when Italy beat England 2-1 in the Azzurri’s opener at the 2014 World Cup.

Shortly after the World Cup, however, Balotelli’s downward spiral began when he transferred to Liverpool. He scored only one goal in the Premier League season and was loaned back to Milan.

While Conte gave no immediate explanation of his squad choices - which were issued with a press release - he has said numerous times that he would rely on “the group that got us here.”

“Whoever wants to join in will have to deserve it twice as much, and will have to work much harder to take the place of those that are here,” Conte said late last year.

Injured midfielders Claudio Marchisio and Marco Verratti were also not included. Midfielders Riccardo Montolivo and Thiago Motta were put on the team but the announcement said that their medical conditions “need to be verified.”

Defender Armando Izzo, who was placed under investigation for match-fixing earlier Monday, was dropped after being included in a preliminary training camp last week.

Also, 19-year-old goalkeeper Alex Meret will train with the squad.

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Italy:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Federico Marchetti (Lazio), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint Germain)

Defenders: Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham), Daniele Rugani (Juventus)

Midfielders: Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Davide Zappacosta (Torino), Marco Benassi (Torino), Giacomo Bonaventura (AC Milan), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Emanuele Giaccherini (Bologna), Jorginho (Napoli), Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Stefano Sturaro (Juventus)

Forwards: Eder (Inter Milan), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Simone Zaza (Juventus)

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Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf

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