Lele Oriali is the new Italy team manager for Antonio Conte and warned Mario Balotelli “must earn his call-up.”
The former Inter director took over the position and told Sport Mediaset and La Gazzetta dello Sport he “can’t wait to get started.
“I realise it’s a completely different job to working in a club side, but I think there’s the opportunity to do really well.
“I’ll meet Conte today or tomorrow to clarify the roles and what I will need to do. I put myself at the full disposal of the Nazionale.
“Funnily enough, I’d never met Conte face-to-face. I’d ask him a few questions via TV link-up in a post-match situation, but never in person.”
Oriali was asked about Balotelli, a player he already dealt with while at Inter and who starts a new career chapter at Liverpool.
“Balotelli is a player like all the others and must earn his call-up. As a player, he is a talent still being formed. That means he can give more and I hope he will do for Italy.
“I will stop here, as it’s only right that the Coach talks about the players.”