Totti launches attack on Balotelli

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The Independent Football

Francesco Totti has launched an astonishing verbal attack on Mario Balotelli after accusing the Internazionale striker of "ugly behaviour".

The Italy Under-21 international has been at the centre of a media storm since he won and converted a highly controversial penalty during last weekend's 3-3 draw with Roma.

Totti missed the game through injury but the Roma striker has revealed his amazement at Balotelli's celebration when he ran to the home fans with his finger to his lips.

"We cannot tolerate that a young footballer like Balotelli, who has great technical and physical ability, should have such an ugly behaviour towards rivals and fans," he mused.

"I don't think Balotelli is behaving in the right manner.

"If at 18 I would have had the same approach as Balotelli, my team-mates would have kicked me in the back, my coach at the time would have slapped me in the face and the rest I would have received from my parents back home.”

Meanwhile, Fabio Cannavaro has refused to rule out the possibility of leaving Real Madrid for Napoli at the end of the season.

Cannavaro, 35, is out of contract in the summer and has been widely linked with a return to his first club in the Italian media.

"I don't want this to become a soap opera," said the Azzurri's 2006 World Cup winning captain.

"I don't want any misunderstandings because I respect the directors, the players and the coach.

"This club has embarked on a journey, but who is to say there won't be a chance (to join Napoli) right now or in a year? I would welcome it."

"Perhaps today it's a different football. There is a different way of educating youngsters."

Lazio coach Delio Rossi has conceded his future at the Rome club depends on his ability to mastermind an impressive end to the season.

The Biancocelesti are currently eighth in the Serie A table and hold a 2-1 first leg advantage over Juventus in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia.

Rossi's contract expires at the end of the season and the Italian coach has admitted his future could depend on a strong finish to the campaign.

"I've been asked about my future and have replied that it is mainly dependent on me," he said.

"I think that at the end of a contract it is normal one wants to stay and I would like to stay.

"However, if that is not possible I will decide to leave myself."