Coach Prandelli backs Balotelli


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The Independent Football

The Italy coach, Cesare Prandelli, yesterday expressed his faith in controversial Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

The veteran tactician has dropped the 21-year-old in the past because of his Premier League indiscipline.

However, Prandelli now sees the City striker as focused on the European Championship.

"When I heard Balotelli say that he will not leave Italy down to 10 men, I believed him 100 per cent," Prandelli said. "There is a big awareness in the team that something can be achieved."

Balotelli is among six strikers in Prandelli's preliminary squad, along with Milan's Antonio Cassano, Roma's Fabio Borini, Mattia Destro of Siena, Udinese's captain Antonio Di Natale and Parma's Sebastian Giovinco.