Italy coach Antonio Conte says that Andrea Pirlo’s exclusion from Italy’s Euro 2016 squad was down to his move to MLS.
Conte, who will take over at Chelsea after this summer’s tournament in France, says he spoke to Pirlo, 37, before omitting him from his provisional 30-man squad for Euro 2016.
The New York City midfielder and his MLS colleague Sebastian Giovinco have both been left out of the squad, almost certainly spelling the end of Pirlo’s international career.
Pirlo, who signed from Juventus on a free transger last July, has not been picked by the Azzurri since September’s qualifying win over Bulgaria.
“I spoke to Andrea, I needed to hear from him and we sent people to the US,” said Conte at a press conference in Coverciano.
“However, we’ve made other choices and you have to accept them and deal with the consequences. Nothing was left to chance.
“We evaluated him and Giovinco, it’s normal that if you choose to go and play there then you can pay the consequences in footballing terms.
“We evaluated them technically, we didn’t leave anything to chance. Anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong, we went everywhere to have clear and precise ideas.
“I picked the 30 who I think will give me the most guarantees.”
Conte’s Azzurri will face Scotland on May 29 before playing Finland in their final warm-up friendly on June 6.
“We opted for Scotland because they’re very similar to Ireland, while Finland are more like Sweden. We chose them to see what kind of games await us,” added Conte.