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Soccer: Balotelli ruled out of Argentina friendly

Striker twisted knee in raining

Soccer: Balotelli ruled out of Argentina friendly

Rome, August 13 - Mario Balotelli has been ruled out of Wednesday's friendly between Italy and Argentina in honour of Pope Francis because of a knee problem. The AC Milan striker twisted his knee in training Monday. Balotelli, who had a separate meeting with Francis after an audience with the squads Tuesday, was billed as the game's star attraction along with the world's best player, Argentina forward Leo Messi. The Azzurri take on their historic rivals at the Olympic Stadium Wednesday night in a match set up a month after the soccer-loving Francis succeeded Benedict XVI in March.

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