Wednesday April 30 2014
Prandelli: No first team guarantees

Cesare Prandelli says that no player, including Mario Balotelli, can go to Brazil with the mindset of starting every game.

Speculation since the Milan striker’s outburst on Italian television and struggles for consistent form has been that Prandelli is considering options for Italy during the World Cup that don’t include the 23-year-old.

However, in discussing the striker’s issues, the CT has offered advice and made clear no-one’s place in Brazil is that certain.

“I share the opinion of Clarence Seedorf when he says that Mario does not raise his hands in protest not react to the fouls. A leap forward,” Prandelli has begun in an interview with the Corriere della Sera.

“But there is a need for him to understand that when after the game with Roma, he accepted the responsibility to speak [to reporters]. For me he could not help it.

“Players must try to have respect for everyone who is working. If you are always aggressive, everything becomes terribly complicated.

“The players, and not only Balotelli, should go into a game with the utmost determination, but at the same time with a great serenity.

“The history of Mario with the Azzurri is simple - he has never been a fixed starter. It has always been necessary to motivate him and then, when he has come in, he has done so in the right way.

“Thinking about a World Cup as difficult and demanding as that in Brazil, I am increasingly convinced that no-one can think to be a starter in all the matches.

“No-one will be immovable from their position because, from time to time, we will need to understand how to deal with opponents and after the Confederations Cup we know what it means to play every four days.

“I expect a great competition and guys who will think of the national team 24 hours a day. I want to go without issues. Who has these, or thinks about themselves, will stay at home.

“Am I considering a plan B without Balotelli? Mario has scored 14 goals, which is not few…then we will study other options.

“There may even be a plan C for that matter. We must have many faces and know how to change, even during a game. I say and have repeated this for months - we are not the best, but sharpening our wits we can win against one of the big ones.”

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