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    Roberto Mancini refuses claims of being desperate as he calls Mario Balotelli to the Italy national camp

    Roberto Mancini

    Football   |   January 27, 2022

     

    Italy national team head coach Roberto Mancini who guided the Azzurri to the Euros title last year finds himself in a middle right now. Mancini recently called Mario Balotelli to Italy’s training session as he feels that the former Manchester City man will be able to help the Azzurri in their World Cup playoffs quest.

    When quizzed what Balotelli has promised Mancini to don the Italian colours again, Mancini replied, “What has he promised me? Absolutely nothing.”

    The 31-year-old striker who was once tipped to be the next superstar has seen a steep decline. Balotelli is currently playing for his 10th club, Adana Demirspor in Turkey. He spent the last season plying his trade for Serie B outfit Monza.

    “He was called up as others have been called up. We are curious to see him again after a little time,” said Mancini. The Italian coached Balotelli during their time at Manchester City and Inter Milan. Mancini recalled him earlier in 2018 aswell to hand him his last three caps for Italy. Balotelli was called to the national camp after four years in 2018. He has called him now again and we can see that there is a sense of trust present in the duo.

    “He must not promise me anything, as I must not promise him anything. We will evaluate if he can help.”

    “Technically, Mario has always been good, it’s not a problem. We have to see where he is physically. We’ve lost sight of him a little bit,” said Mancini, who called 35 players to the national camp in preparation for the playoffs.

    Italy for the first time in 60 years failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2018. Mancini does not want the fate to be repeated hence he is doing everything in his power to change that. The Azzurri lost a two-legged playoff against Sweden and were out of the race to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

    Italy must first beat North Macedonia at home on March 24 and then they will take on Portugal or Turkey on March 29.

    “What is also fundamental is that a player is integrated into an existing group, a group that has had good results,” said Mancini, who led Italy to the European title in July.

    Lastly, Mancini refuted claims that calling Balotelli to the national setup was a desperate move. “The door of the national team is always open to everyone,” he concluded.

     

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