Cesare Prandelli said Monday that he has left Antonio Cassano out of his squad for Italy's upcoming qualifiers against Armenia and Denmark because he wants to focus on younger players.
Nevertheless, the Azzurri coach, who has not used Cassano since he helped Italy reach the final of Euro 2012, stressed that the 30-year-old Inter Milan striker's international career had not ended.
"His time with the national team is not over," Prandelli said.
"But at the moment I prefer to continue on the road of renewal with younger players. It's the same thing with (Udinese forward Antonio) Di Natale, who then played (for Italy) at more important moments". Italy visit Armenia on Friday and take on Denmark in Milan four days later.
They lead European qualification Group B after beating Malta 2-0 in Modena and drawing 2-2 with Bulgaria in Sofia last month.