Federico Balzaretti took the blame for Nicklas Bendtner’s brace. “I made mistakes and I apologise for that.”
The Roma full-back was making his comeback for Italy in the 2-2 draw with Denmark.
“It’s wonderful to be back, such a strong emotion and pride to be wearing the Azzurri jersey again,” he told Rai Sport.
“The first goal was my mistake and Bendtner’s credit. I should’ve marked him closer on the first goal and made more of my power in the air. I’m sorry, as we conceded those two goals and especially the first one on the stroke of half-time that could’ve changed the game.
“I made mistakes on the goals, that is beyond doubt and I apologise for that. I was marking him, that’s all that needs to be said. Apart from those incidents, I don’t think we suffered too much other than from set plays.
“We picked up the ball deeper and so it was harder for me to push forward. It was a show of character at the end and it’s good to know even when we’re not as sharp as usual, we still have our character to fall back on.”
Balzaretti has been impressed with the side he rediscovered after a year away from the Azzurri camp.
“This is a very strong side with great quality, unity and a great Coach. We have everything it requires to do very well at the World Cup.
“We must confirm the work we’ve done so far and it is continuing everything Cesare Prandelli built throughout Euro 2012, the Confederations Cup and this qualification campaign.”
Mario Balotelli was not even in the stands due to a fever and Balzaretti shrugged off controversy around the striker.
“I have great respect and admiration for Mario. He behaves very well with the Italy squad and always gives his all on the field.”