Wednesday May 25 2016
Bonucci: ‘It’s up to Balotelli’

Leonardo Bonucci discusses Mario Balotelli - “he had to change and unfortunately he hasn’t yet done so”.

The Milan striker was one of the big names left out of Antonio Conte’s preliminary Italy squad for Euro 2016, along with veteran Andrea Pirlo.

“Andrea is not up for discussion, he’s football personified,” Bonucci told reporters in a Press conference today.

“It’s normal that when you make choices you know what the consequences could be. I’m sorry, because he’s a great guy in the dressing room, and he’s funny, contrary to the what he transmits on the outside.

“As for Mario, it was always in his hands. He had to be smart and understand where he had to change, and unfortunately he hasn’t yet done so.

“He would only be important if he came here knowing that the team has to be put before the individual. There’s no time for prima donnas here, we have to make ourselves available.

“If he realised his mistakes he’d become one of the best players in the world. I say that in the hope it triggers something inside him and he can use his gifts to achieve personal satisfaction and rediscover this shirt.”

Giampiero Ventura is expected to be the next Azzurri CT, having left Torino, and it was he who handed Bonucci his big break when they were together at Bari.

“I have to say ‘thank you’ to Ventura, because I played 38 games out of 38 under him. It was courageous of him to throw myself and [Andrea] Ranocchia into the fray.

“All I can say is that if he were to be the next CT, he’d have clear ideas about our play and that’s what we need.

“Our quality isn’t our best advantage, so we have to start from a tactical level, and he’s really strong in that respect.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: