Mario Balotelli’s Confederations Cup is over due to injury, but Cesare Prandelli insists “there was no pressure from Milan.”
The striker had been ruled out of Thursday’s semi-final against Spain with a left thigh problem, but today tests showed the injury was more serious than at first thought.
It was announced this evening that Super Mario will be leaving the squad immediately for a return to Italy in order to undergo treatment.
He joins his Milan teammate Ignazio Abate, who has already left after dislocating his shoulder in the 4-2 defeat to Brazil.
“Balotelli was very disappointed, but there was no time for him to recover,” explained Coach Prandelli.
“In any case, there was no pressure from Milan on me or the Federation to bring him straight back to Italy.
“Without Mario we will have to try to work more on the collective.”
Alberto Gilardino of Bologna is therefore likely to start against Spain, or Prandelli could embrace a complete change of system.
“Mario cannot recover in time for the Confederations Cup Final,” added chief medic Professor Enrico Castellacci.
“Now the Milan medical staff will look after him.”