Friday June 15 2012
Boban: Why take off Balotelli?

Zvonimir Boban believes that Cesare Prandelli made a mistake in taking Mario Balotelli off in the 1-1 draw between Italy and Croatia.

The Manchester City man was again replaced after the break by Antonio Di Natale, in a move that we had already seen in Sunday’s tie with Spain.

“I would never have taken Balotelli off,” former Croatia and Milan ace Boban told Sky Sport Italia.

“Super Mario was keeping the Croatian defence busy all of the time and Italy missed his power in attack once he had gone off.

“Italy’s other forwards are too small and lightweight…”

The Azzurri started the game well and took the lead through Andrea Pirlo, but they wasted numerous other scoring opportunities which kept their opponents in the game.

“Croatia are in good shape, but Italy did better,” Boban continued. “The Azzurri dominated for the first 60 minutes, but things changed after Balotelli was taken off.”

Italy must now beat the Republic of Ireland and hope that if Spain and Croatia draw then it won’t end up 2-2 or higher.

“Croatia will have to suffer a lot against Spain and the latter will be favourites, but it is all still open,” Boban concluded.

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