Monday December 14 2015
‘Balotelli priorities wrong’

Cesare Prandelli says Mario Balotelli “has qualities that few others have” but “football is not the priority in his life”.

The Milan striker was a favourite when Prandelli was Italy CT, but current boss Antonio Conte is yet to cap him, and hinted that he is unlikely to call him for Euro 2016.

“Balotelli has qualities that few others have,” Prandelli told Radio Anch'Io Sport.

“Potentially he’s among the top five in the world, but clearly football is not the priority in his life. We all hope he can show his talent.

“If you want to be the best, you have to go out on to the field to work, and not even think about certain situations.

“The team is the priority for a Coach, and he can see if a player doesn’t fit. It’s a situation everyone should understand.”

Prandelli also gave his thoughts on the Scudetto race, and isn’t sure former club Fiorentina can last the distance after defeat in Turin last night.

“There are four or five teams who I hope can fight to the end for the Scudetto. Inter and Juventus have made a lot of changes, but they’re getting there fast.

“Inter are leading, and Juve are showing their character despite having played well from the start. [Max] Allegri and [Roberto] Mancini have suffered unjust criticism, they just needed time.

“Napoli and Fiorentina have shown that they might have more in terms of play, but in Serie A just that isn’t enough.

“Yesterday Juve wanted to win at all costs. Fiorentina have a nice style, but maybe something is missing.

“From that point of view, perhaps Allegri and Mancini have more experience.”