Sunday June 29 2014
Raiola: 'Balotelli still the best'

Mario Balotelli “is still the best Italian player out there” and Cesare Prandelli “made him a scapegoat,” according to Mino Raiola.

The agent spoke to Tuttosport in defence of the Milan striker, who is feeling the pressure after the World Cup exit.

“Balo is still the best Italian player out there,” declared representative Raiola.

“He has unjustly been made into a scapegoat by everyone, starting from the FIGC and Prandelli.

“I also want to clarify Mario never apologised to Prandelli, as was reported.”

There had been claims Balotelli said sorry to the Italy Coach on the plane back from Rio de Janeiro for his behaviour, which saw him substituted at half-time in the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay.

Demetrio Albertini also made comments that were in poor taste against Balotelli, seeing as he chose to represent Italy and remains a champion.”

Federation Vice-President Albertini had said Balotelli and all players had to “earn” the right to wear the Azzurri jersey.

It had been reported this weekend that Raiola was planning to buy Balotelli’s contract from Milan with the aid of an investment fund and loan him to Juventus for free.