Tuesday October 16 2012
Prandelli: 'Balotelli not risky'

Cesare Prandelli replies to criticism ahead of Italy’s World Cup qualifier with Denmark and gives advice to Mario Balotelli. “We are trying to help him, but he has to walk alone.”

The Manchester City striker is set to make his first Azzurri appearance since the Euro 2012 Final this evening.

“Is it wrong to keep risking with Balotelli? There’s no risk,” assured the Coach on RAI Sport.

“We are only trying to help this lad who has great talent, but then he has to walk alone and I think he is capable of doing it.

“This is a squad that wants to grow and work on the details. This is very comforting. History teaches us there are always going to be difficulties, but the lads want to improve and work in training on becoming a team.”

Italy’s 3-1 win in Armenia on Friday saw Prandelli respond angrily to criticism from the media.

“Criticism doesn’t hurt me. It’s just that kind of superficial judgment that I don’t like in general. It shows a lack of respect to pass judgment so easily from a distance, focusing on replays and highlights rather than the flow of the football.

“It’s as if they are insulting you personally. Am I like Marcello Lippi in that sense? I hope so, seeing as he won the World Cup! I would be proud to be compared to Lippi.”

Italy are top of their group and welcome Denmark to San Siro in Milan this evening.

“Winning tonight would mean another three points on the tally and a sense of consistency. I am convinced our group is very balanced and I’m very confident ahead of tonight’s game.”

Gigi Buffon failed a fitness test, so Napoli’s Morgan De Sanctis is due to start between the posts.

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