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By ESPN Staff

De Rossi backs omission of Cassano

Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi believes there is no room for Sampdoria star Antonio Cassano in the national team.

Cassano was in Roberto Donadoni's Euro 2008 squad but has not been selected by coach Marcelo Lippi since.

While speculation in Italy has suggested that Cassano's unruly behaviour in the past is counting against him, De Rossi said it was more to do with playing ability.

De Rossi said: "Of all the Italian strikers, he is the most talented and the most entertaining. But if we look at goals, there are other strikers here in the national team and also not selected that have scored more than him."

Roma midfielder De Rossi is training with Italy ahead of Saturday's World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

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