Italy coach Cesare Prandelli again expresses faith in Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli

 

Pa
Friday 25 May 2012 11:30 BST
Comments
British referee giving Mario Balotelli a red card
British referee giving Mario Balotelli a red card (Getty Images)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has expressed his faith in controversial Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

The veteran tactician has dropped the 21-year-old on several occasions because of the player's indiscipline in the Barclays Premier League.

However, Prandelli now sees the City striker focused and deterrmined to help the Azzurri at the European Championship.

"When I heard Balotelli say that he will not leave Italy down to 10 men, I believed him 100%," Prandelli said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "There is a great atmosphere in the team and there is a big awareness that something significant can be achieved.

"The players know this is an exceptional opportunity for them, they are taking responsibility and they will not fail."

Balotelli is among six strikers included by Prandelli in his preliminary squad.

Joining Balotelli in the party are Milan's Antonio Cassano, Roma's Fabio Borini, Mattia Destro of Siena, Udinese captain Antonio Di Natale and Parma's Sebastian Giovinco.

Prandelli revealed he may consider taking all of his selected forwards to the European Championship.

"All of the six strikers have truly touched me," he said. "They have quality and are modern strikers.

"They all deserve to be here.

"If we keep all six, then we will sacrifice a defender."

PA

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in