Friday July 4 2014
Ronaldo: Italy were divided

Former Brazil striker Ronaldo has reflected on Italy’s short World Cup campaign and says Mario Balotelli isn’t the only one to blame.

Having played a part in organising this summer’s tournament in his home country, the former Inter, Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid man has expressed his surprise in the short-lived nature of the Azzurri’s campaign.

Cesare Prandelli’s boys were eliminated at the group stage of the tournament following defeats to Costa Rica and Uruguay.

“The disappointment was great because at every World Cup we all imagine Italy as one of the favourites, as a great power of football,” Ronaldo has told the Gazzetta dello Sport today.

“And instead this time they came and left without even being seen. Certainly, they played a good first game against the English, but at the climax they collapsed and went home.

“Mario Balotelli? He’s still young, I do not think it is right that he is the only one to be blamed for this, nor even the main one.

“Both the Italians and myself know what it takes to win a World Cup - a group that has talent but that above all is united, capable of facing adversity and overcoming it.

“It seems to me that Italy have failed primarily on this.”

Ronaldo was asked if he had been in contact with Erick Thohir since he became Inter President.

“For this World Cup, for which I have been very busy for the last two years as part of the organisation, I have been totally absorbed in.

“Finally now I have a little free time and I will return as soon as possible to Italy to visit friends.

“It is a country that I love, as you know very well.”

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