Italy coach Cesare Prandelli says Giuseppe Rossi always knew he would not be going to the World Cup and that the United States-born forward almost wasn't included in the provisional squad.

Speaking for the first time since revealing his 23-man squad, Prandelli explains he had been clear with Rossi since meeting with the forward in early May, shortly after his comeback from a four-month injury layoff.

On Tuesday, Prandelli says "I was going with the intention to tell him he wasn't in the 30. Then I understood that it could be a message for everyone. I told him that moment that he wasn't in the 23...I repeated it twice."

Prandelli adds "It would have been easy to pick him, but it would have been too much of a risk."