Saturday June 15 2013
Ronaldo: 'Warning to Balotelli'

Ronaldo warned Mario Balotelli not to “waste his talent like Adriano,” praised Cesare Prandelli’s Italy and trusts Massimo Moratti to do what’s best for Inter.

The Brazilian legend sat down with La Gazzetta dello Sport for an exclusive interview ahead of the Confederations Cup.

“Balotelli has the great gift of talent, as he knows how to treat the ball a certain way and find the net. In Brazil this is already enough for us to be won over by a player,” said Ronaldo.

“However, it is not enough for what Balotelli could become. He mustn’t use his age or his talent as an excuse to do the odd stupid thing on the pitch.

“If a striker knows how to play, they are going to provoke him and give him a beating. I know full well, but if I had reacted every time someone kicked me... We have all done silly things in our lives, but we must realise when it’s time to stop. Count to five before responding.

“I am reminded of Adriano, although his case was very different to that of Balotelli. Adriano had incredible technique and physicality, so he could’ve done anything he wanted to on the pitch, but at a certain point he couldn’t take it anymore.

“The advice I give Balotelli is this: do not waste your talent. At the Maracanà you can tell who is a real player and who is bluffing, so I tell him not to be over-awed by the atmosphere. Playing there does give you goosebumps, as it’s the most beautiful stadium in the world. I’ve never been able to score a professional goal at the Maracanà.”

Italy begin their Confederations Cup campaign in Rio de Janeiro against Mexico on Sunday at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT), then face Japan and Brazil.

“Even when Italy played badly in a tournament, they still managed to get to at least the quarter-final or semi-final. Now they play good football as well and Brazil know that,” continued Ronaldo.

“It was always tough to score against Gigi Buffon and things haven’t changed. He’s the kind of goalkeeper a striker loves and yet also hates coming up against.

“I always thought Andrea Pirlo was special, as you could tell that even from when he was a kid at Inter. He has that knack that only the absolute greatest have, which is being able to read the move a second before anyone else. Plus he can pass the ball anywhere.”

Il Fenomeno remains synonymous with Inter and commented on the difficult situation at his old club.

“You’ll see that they won’t have another season like this one. Is it true that Moratti is thinking about selling the club? I am a little amazed, knowing what the club and the team mean to him.

“If Moratti does sell, he’ll do it only for the good of Inter. The President loves Inter too much.”