Cesare Prandelli is proud of his Italy side and Mario Balotelli. “We play for ourselves and the joy of football.”
The Azzurri are already qualified for Euro 2012 and earned an impressive 2-0 victory away to co-hosts Poland on Friday evening thanks to goals from Balotelli and Giampaolo Pazzini.
“I am very happy to have someone like Balotelli in the squad, especially after all the criticism he received,” said the Coach in today’s Press conference.
“His performance was not a novelty. We are all aware of what he can give to the team. I compliment him on his attitude and his play. Roberto Mancini also deserves praise for the work he has done with Mario recently.
“Do I ‘fix’ wayward talents? The important thing is to be sincere and find the key to creating the right rapport.
“Balotelli didn’t celebrate at the goal, but the day will come when he brings out all of his joy and emotions. In the meantime, he kissed the Italy flag on his shirt. He sent us a message and we must understand it to help him.”
Italy traditionally struggle to find motivation in friendlies, but did well in Poland and are looking ahead to Tuesday’s test with Uruguay in Rome.
“On the flight back from Poland, Zibi Boniek told me that for the first time he had seen the Nazionale play not ‘against’ someone, but rather to play for ourselves and the joy of football. That was a wonderful compliment, because we do just go out there to enjoy ourselves.”
Former Juventus and Poland star Boniek was in the commentary box for RAI in yesterday’s game.