Tuesday May 20 2014
Priest advises Italy squad

A priest reveals he “consoled” Alessio Cerci and has faith in Mario Balotelli after visiting the Italy camp.

Don Gabricci is the local priest for the Fiorentina team, a friend of Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli and therefore attended the first day of training ahead of the World Cup at Coverciano.

“I always come to Coverciano and I try to give advice,” Don Gabricci told Rai Sport.

“I tell the players to enjoy this experience as a great adventure. Football needs a breath of fresh air and they can give that.

“They have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, but must be relaxed and joyous.”

He was asked about Milan striker Balotelli, who insisted recently he is ‘not a bad boy.’

“Young lads can change. They are men like us, so they can have positive and negative moments,” continued Don Gabricci.

“They need to have faith in the people who surround them.”

There was one player in particular need of spiritual help, as Torino forward Cerci missed the last-minute penalty that would’ve put his team in the Europa League.

“I consoled Cerci on Sunday evening. He is an emotional and sensitive guy, he should not feel ashamed of his mistake. This is life, this is football. It’s a pity, but he will do great things at the World Cup.”

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