Giorgio Chiellini laughed off rumours linking Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli to Juventus and defended Mario Balotelli.
The defender spoke at a Press conference at the Coverciano training ground after last night’s 2-2 World Cup qualifier in Denmark.
“The next game with Armenia will not be pointless, as we want to end the campaign unbeaten,” said Chiellini.
“Balotelli’s absence from the stadium is not such a big deal, as he wasn’t feeling well. We hope he can be ready for Tuesday. Mario has been unlucky during this international get-together, because he picked up an injury in the first training session and then had a fever.
“This is and always will be Balotelli’s Italy, even if it is possible to play without him. Nobody is indispensable. Some people might not like Mario, but that’s the story of his career. The Nazionale helped him to calm some of the antipathy towards him.”
This week the papers also speculated that Prandelli will leave the Italy bench after the World Cup in order to take over at Juventus.
“I think all this is premature, as we are so tied to Antonio Conte at Juventus and Prandelli for Italy. We are doing well and cannot help but speak highly of Prandelli, but these rumours of him joining Juventus are just fantasy football.
“Roma surprised everyone, as I did not expect them to start with seven consecutive victories. They are also playing great football and at times remind me of the Juventus we saw two years ago, especially in their enthusiasm to overcome difficult situations.
“They have such energy that it allows them to do anything. It is exciting to watch them play. They can be stopped, just as all teams can be stopped, but I hope they are not too consistent like this.
“Considering the fixture list Juventus have had a good start and we must continue taking it one game at a time.”