Monday April 6 2020
Mancini: 'Balotelli one of the best'

Italy CT Roberto Mancini has claimed Mario Balotelli ‘is among the best centre-forwards’ but claimed he hasn’t done enough to secure a place in the Azzurri squad.

Mancini had the current Brescia forward’s in his squad at Inter and at Manchester City, and knows the 29-year-old better than most.

The Rondinelle are currently bottom of Serie A, despite having brought Balotelli back to Lombardy last summer, and the Azzurri boss claimed the striker, who has scored five times this season, has not helped his case.

“For the qualities he had and has, Mario is among the best centre-forwards,” Mancini told Sky Sport Italia. “But that’s not enough.

“He didn’t do much in Brescia this year either and he knows it. His hope is to bring back the Mario from City or the Euro 2012.

“The doors are open for everyone.”

The Italy CT has revealed that he aims to win the UEFA Nations League and the European Championship, which has been postponed until next summer.

“I’m very happy with the national team, even if we haven’t seen each other for some time,” he added. “We will try to do well and aim to win the Nations League and the European Championship.”

Mancini has brought the enthusiasm back in the Azzurri squad and with a World Cup on the horizon, only a year after the next Euros, it could be a grand opportunity for the former Manchester City coach to lead the country in two major tournaments.

“I don’t know, we’ll see what happens. I hope to be the Italy coach who returns after winning the European Championship.”