Thursday June 26 2014
‘Balotelli must prove he deserves Italy’

Demetrio Albertini says that Mario Balotelli must ‘demonstrate he deserves’ the Italy shirt, and urges the team to ‘restart with Andrea Pirlo’.

The FIGC Vice-President was talking to reporters during Italy’s return flight home from Brazil following an all-too-brief World Cup campaign that has ended with fall-out surrounding Balotelli.

For Albertini, the 23-year-old needs to show a change in attitude, just as the national team must look to begin again with veteran Pirlo still in tow.

“I do not know if the national team will restart with or without Balotelli. I know that we have to restart with Pirlo,” Albertini has commented today, at the same time Pirlo hinted that he will rethink his retirement.

“[Balotelli] will have to demonstrate that he deserve the Azzurro or make room for others.

“It is not true that he more at fault than others, but his talent must put at the service of the team.

“The new CT will decide. The management of the group puts aside that of the individual.”

Albertini has been reported as one candidate to succeed Giancarlo Abete as FIGC President.

“I am not attached to a desk, as demonstrated by the fact that before the World Cup I resigned because I could not work as I wanted.

“If you ask me to be a candidate, then today in this corporate football I say no.

“We need to put the focus on football. Not the economic aspects - otherwise we will not rediscover our competitiveness.”

Albertini had told reporters before leaving Brazil of his hope to convince Cesare Prandelli to stay on as Coach, but he has hinted such talks have proven unsuccessful so far.

“With the new Coach there will be tight deadlines. Monday we will talk with the board.

“There is currently no time to choose the new President - the same men will first have the responsibility in choosing the new Coach for Italy.”

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