Cesare Prandelli assured “it is unthinkable to go to the World Cup without Mario Balotelli” and the best is yet to come from Italy.
The Azzurri play Denmark at the Parken stadium in Copenhagen this evening at 19.15 UK time (18.15 GMT).
Balotelli, Lorenzo Insigne and Marco Verratti are injured, while Andrea Pirlo will be rested. There are reports Balo won’t even be in the stands tonight, as he is suffering from flu symptoms and medical staff don’t want to risk him in freezing temperatures.
“It is unthinkable to go to the World Cup without Balotelli,” Coach Prandelli told RaiSport.
“I am convinced that, from now on, Mario will do nothing extraordinary or weird and will be prepared at the World Cup.
“I spoke to him and he told me to play at the World Cup is his dream. He needs to break away from his problems, calm the situation and get out of being a ‘personality.’ Both Balotelli and Insigne will be fit to play against Armenia on Tuesday.”
Italy have already qualified for Brazil 2014 and Prandelli was asked if the best performance under his tenure was the Euro 2012 semi-final victory over Germany.
“We can do better than that. If we win the next games and play well, then we can do something marvellous at the World Cup.”
Francesco Totti and even Verona’s Luca Toni won in 2006, but have been impressing with their form this season and could earn an Azzurri recall.
“Having said there are some marvellous ‘little old men’ in Italy, we had said with so many foreign imports and little courage in launching young players, it would be difficult to bring through a generational change.”