Graziano Pelle was one of Italy’s star performers at the European Championships.
However, the 31-year-old’s international career could be over following a bizarre incident while playing for the Azzurri against Spain on Thursday night.
Giampiero Ventura substituted Pelle in the 60th minute, shortly after Vitolo had put Spain 1-0 ahead at the Juventus Stadium, and sent on Ciro Immobile in his place.
However, Pelle was clearly irritated by the decision.
And he made his feelings crystal clear as he walked off the pitch and took his place in the dugout.
Pelle refused to shake his manager's hand
Ventura held out his hand, waiting for Pelle to shake it, but the former Southampton striker blanked his boss.
According to Goal, Pelle has now been kicked out of the squad for “disrespectful behaviour” and will not feature in Italy’s next World Cup qualifier against Macedonia on Sunday.
Video: The moment Pelle blanked his boss
Here it is again...
Pelle, who currently plies his trade with Shandong Luneng in China, now faces a battle to save his Italy career.
Ventura has only been in charge of Italy for three matches and isn’t going anywhere, but even a grovelling apology might not be enough for Pelle to salvage his career at international level.
"Giampiero Ventura, in agreement with the FIGC, has decided to exclude Graziano Pelle from the squad for the match against FYR Macedonia on Sunday, October 9 in Skopje for disrespectful behaviour at the time of his substitution during yesterday's match with Spain," a statement read.
"Being part of the national team entails the sharing of values and attitudes befitting the national team, starting with respect towards the staff, team-mates and fans. The player will return today to his parent club."
With Pelle off the pitch, Italy recorded a hard-fought 1-1 draw thanks to Daniele De Rossi’s 82nd-minute equaliser from the penalty spot.
Did Graziano Pelle deserve to be chucked out of the Italy squad for this? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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