Tuesday December 31 2013
Prandelli: '2014 for Balotelli'

Cesare Prandelli believes 2014 “will be Mario Balotelli’s World Cup,” and hailed “motivated” Giuseppe Rossi.

The Italy Coach spoke to La Stampa newspaper ahead of the tournament in Brazil, where the Azzurri will face Uruguay, England and Costa Rica.

“In media terms, it will be Balotelli’s World Cup, but he needs to do extraordinary things now,” said Prandelli.

“It will also be the World Cup of Leo Messi and Luis Suarez, as these are among the three best players in the world.”

Stephan El Shaarawy is essentially out of the running for a place in the squad after surgery to stabilise a fractured metatarsal, as he’ll be out of action until mid-March.

Others are finding their way back from long-term absences, like Roma’s Mattia Destro and Fiorentina hitman Rossi.

“El Shaarawy needs to rediscover his calm. I was always fond of Destro, while Rossi is even more motivated than he was before.”

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