Sunday June 9 2013
Barzagli: 'Balotelli needn't apologise'

Andrea Barzagli insists Mario Balotelli “has nothing to apologise for” after a Twitter rant and the striker shows his softer side.

Super Mario hit the headlines on Friday night with his red card in the World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic, then hit back at his critics via Twitter only to apologise the next day.

“Balotelli has nothing to apologise for,” said Italy teammate Barzagli this evening.

“It is his Twitter account and he expressed his state of mind at that moment, even if afterwards he changed his mind.

“I would advise him not to write anything publicly in the heat of the moment straight after a game, but he was intelligent in realising he got it wrong.

“He has to grow up, that is true, but Mario is constantly under attack from everyone – opponents, referees and fans. He’ll have to get used to it, because he knows that he’s going to receive special treatment on the field.”

Meanwhile, Balotelli showed another side to his nature after a secret visit to a fan in hospital.

Fabrizio Manza was on the bus of Brescia supporters that crashed on its way back from the Serie B promotion play-off in Livorno two weeks ago.

Balotelli, who grew up in Brescia, went to visit Manza in hospital and kept it quiet until the fan revealed it on Facebook.

A 22-year-old supporter died in the accident, while there were 20 injured.