Cesare Prandelli “will not stand for excessive criticism” of Italy’s performance in their defeat to the USA and confirmed he was in contact with Mario Balotelli.
The Azzurri had never previously lost to the Americans, but were beaten 1-0 at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in last night’s international friendly.
“I will not stand for this excessive criticism,” blasted the Coach on news agency ANSA.
“For two days we had to talk about everything except the game, with everyone worrying about the problems at their own clubs, then we lose a friendly.
“Without taking into account that if I cared about the result then I wouldn’t have fielded three 20-year-olds, the criticism came pouring down. No, it’s too easy like that.”
Prandelli was also asked about Balotelli, who he had dropped after breaking the code of ethics by receiving a ban for violent conduct.
“I have received some messages,” was the response. Earlier in the week Prandelli had stated he received no phone calls from Balotelli and Roma’s Daniel Pablo Osvaldo.
“Let’s leave Mario alone for a while and he could be struggling precisely because everyone is talking about this.
“I was the first to say he could become among the top four strikers in the world, but we did go through the qualification process without him.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.