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Saturday, March 28, 2009

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Deemed a prodigy at Bari, he became labelled an 'enfant terrible' for frequent shows of petulance which included spats with former Roma coach Fabio Capello and on-pitch arguments with referees, opponents and even team-mates. 

He seemed to have left the bad times in the past when he earned a place in former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni's European Championship squad. 

A return for the games against Montenegro and the Republic of Ireland seemed likely, particularly with Bayern Munich forward Luca Toni and Fiorentina striker Alberto Gilardino sidelined through injury, but he has been snubbed since Lippi took charge for a second time after Euro 2008. 

Cassano's Sampdoria team-mate Giampaolo Pazzini, who is in Lippi's 23-man squad, said: "Cassano is a very strong player, but it is Lippi that makes the decision and it has to be respected."

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