Balotelli and De Rossi get Italy axe
Mario Balotelli bib blunder
Italy are preparing for a Euro 2012 qualifier in Slovenia on Friday and then have a friendly against Ukraine on March 29, but he has left the highly-rated duo out as a result of their behaviour at club level.
Balotelli attracted strong criticism from manager Roberto Mancini after his red card hindered City's attempts to overturn a deficit against Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League, while De Rossi was given a three-match ban for his elbow in Roma's Champions League defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk.
"I accept my exclusion from the Italy squad, because I know there is a code of ethics and the rules are there to be respected," De Rossi said. "I hope this will only be for these two games and I can return to the Azzurri soon.
"Prandelli does not owe me an explanation. There are rules, I broke them and it's right I am left at home. I said it was a blessing, as I could rest during the break, but that was just a joke to take some of the pressure off.
"It's true my tendon hurts and I picked up a knock, but I don't think it's anything serious."
Italy squad to face Slovenia and Ukraine:
Buffon (Juventus), Sirigu (Palermo), Viviano (Bologna); Astori (Cagliari), Balzaretti (Palermo), Bonucci (Juventus), Chiellini (Juventus), Criscito (Genoa), Gastaldello (Sampdoria); Maggio (Napoli), Ranocchia (Inter), Santon (Cesena), Aquilani (Juventus), Marchisio (Juventus), Mauri (Lazio), Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Inter), Nocerino (Palermo), Parolo (Cesena); Cassano (Milan), Gilardino (Fiorentina), Giovinco (Parma), Matri (Juventus), Pazzini (Inter), Rossi (Villarreal)