Mario Balotelli has been dropped from the Italy squad that will play Portugal in the Nations League clash against Portugal in Lisbon after a shambolic performance in the last match against Poland.
Balotelli who made a return to the Azzurri after two years absence has played in all four matches under Roberto Mancini.
The Nice forward scored a goal in the 2-1 victory against Saudi Arabia his first goal for Italy since returning back to the national team.
Roberto Mancini defended the former Manchester City striker amid criticisms from his poor performance against Poland
“A player knows when he has played well or badly,” he said.
“I think Mario knows full well what his performance against Poland was like. Criticism is part of the game.
“We are only at the beginning of this journey and will change several players from the Poland game, also to look after the lads.
Balotelli is part of the traveling party but he will not take part in the match against the European Champions