Saturday April 21 2012
Lippi: 'My Balotelli theory'

Former Italy Coach Marcello Lippi confirms he will “get back to work soon,” and has a new theory on Mario Balotelli’s problems.

The tactician has been linked with a series of benches at both club and international level around the world.

“I will not train in Italy again, but I will get back to work soon. Where? In a place where I can build something, whether it is Oman, Qatar or China. I haven’t decided yet,” he said.

Lippi was asked about Balotelli’s continual bad behaviour, which is causing problems both at Manchester City and with the Azzurri.

“He is a talent, but is also at risk. I listening to the radio and someone wondered whether he continued doing these Balotelli-style antics because he liked himself that way. Well, maybe that really is the truth of the situation.

“As for Serie A, Juventus have a slight advantage due to their point in the League and they are in front of Milan in direct confrontations too. In the race for third, I’d go for Lazio.

“Last season I saw myself in Massimiliano Allegri, because he is Tuscan like me, had never played or trained with a big club before and invented something new, like Thiago Silva in front of the defence.

“I like that Antonio Conte is Juventus through and through. He was already one of the leaders of my Juve side.”

Lippi discussed an often controversial subject of medicine in sport, particularly decades ago when rules were more lax.

“When I was playing for Sampdoria, it was ordinary procedure for the physio to give you injections. We were told they were vitamins. He’d turn up in the locker room joking with syringes in his hands to let us know it was innocuous. If we said no, he’d do them to himself.

“One year I was suffering from lumbago and took anti-inflammatory drugs to make sure I could play every game. It was dumb, especially as on the Monday I couldn’t walk, from Wednesday onwards I’d start training and on Saturday took the anti-inflammatory drugs.

“In March I collapsed during training due to the pains in my stomach. I decided at that point to stop until the end of the season, then in the summer I went on a detox course.

“It was an exaggerated use of medication, but everyone did it. We didn’t act that way to cheat our opponents, as we thought it was only to help recover quickly rather than improve performance.”

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