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By ESPN Staff

Montolivo takes Italy axe on the chin

ROME, May 28 (Euro 2008) - Riccardo Montolivo insists he is not too downhearted to be missing out on Euro 2008 as he expected to be cut from the provisional Italy squad. Italy coach Roberto Donadoni had taken the unusual step of naming a provisional squad of just 24 players, meaning that only one would face European heartbreak when he trimmed it down to the final 23. The fact it is Montolivo to miss out perhaps comes as little surprise as the 23-year-old has just one cap to his name. In fact the Fiorentina player himself admits he had no complaints when the decision was announced as he claims to have seen it coming. 'I expected it, I'm not disappointed,' he told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. 'The coach told me about my exclusion from the group, and now I'll decide with him whether to stay with the group until Friday and take part in the friendly game against Belgium in Florence.' However, Donadoni revealed that Montolivo has turned down his offer and will leave the squad on Wednesday. He told the same newspaper: 'The choice was made last night. I gave him the option to stay with us, but he has decided to leave tonight.' World champions Italy kick off their campaign against Holland on June 9 before facing Romania and France in their remaining Group C fixtures.

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