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Don explains Montolivo exclusion
Wednesday 28 May, 2008

Roberto Donadoni has explained his decision to drop Riccardo Montolivo from his final squad for Euro 2008.

One of the 24 men at Coverciano had to be listed as a stand-by rather than a member of the final party travelling to Austria and Switzerland.

Donadoni opted to leave Fiorentina midfielder Montolivo behind, but insists that it was a tough decision.

“The choice to drop Montolivo was made last night,” the Azzurri Coach explained.

“The reason for it was that the balance of the squad had to be preserved.

“Riccardo’s condition didn’t come into it as he is in good shape. I gave him the option to stay and I would have liked him to, but he opted to say goodbye to his teammates and go home.

“I won’t hide that it was a difficult decision, but I made it and explained it to him with transparent honesty.

“I don’t think that he feels like the dunce of the squad. He understood – that was the first thing that he said to me.

“Cesare Prandelli is using him where he is best and he had a great year.

“Is he similar to Andrea Pirlo? In terms of quality and characteristics, he can have a similar role.”

Don concluded by revealing that he has banned transfer talk from the Azzurri camp.

“From now on the players won’t be talking about anything but the national side,” he said.

“If you journalists could give us a hand it would create a useful synergy. This is the main time for agents, so they can talk to you.”

Gallery: Azzurri prepare for Euro
Roberto Donadoni's 24-man Italy squad have been training at Coverciano ahead of Euro 2008. Gallery

Montolivo's Euro dream dies
Fiorentina midfielder Riccardo Montolivo will be the man to miss out on Euro 2008 after he was cut from Roberto Donadoni’s final list. More

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Pictures: Richiardi (Milan)
& Getty Images (UK)

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