Saturday June 1 2019
Mancini: 'Balotelli at low level'

Roberto Mancini put the blame squarely on Mario Balotelli for missing out on Italy. “He got a four-match ban and is playing at a low level.”

The Azzurri are preparing for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Greece on June 8 and Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 11.

They are currently top of their group after beating Finland 2-0 and Liechtenstein 6-0.

“The next two games are going to be difficult, because Greece and Bosnia are both technically-gifted sides,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

Mancini was asked to explain why he had recalled Torino striker Andrea Belotti, but not Olympique Marseille forward Balotelli.

“Belotti did far better in the second half of the season, so he earned this call-up. I spoke to Mario and explained why he wasn’t in the squad. He has time to get back into the team, as does everyone, and it depends only on him. If he deserves it, he’ll be called.

“He still does things that he shouldn’t do and got a four-match ban in Ligue 1. It’s in his hands. Mario has the qualities to play at a higher level, he can do far more and is not playing at 100 per cent, otherwise he’d score three or four goals per game. He’s playing at a low level and I don’t like that.

“He has 12 months to get back into the Nazionale. Ciro Immobile has always been here and done well, there can be negative periods, but it was only right that he was here.

“We have talented forwards who can still improve. Some are young, others more experienced, but I am not worried about the centre-forward situation.”

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