Monday October 3 2016
Balotelli: Italy exile deserved

Mario Balotelli admits his Italy exile has been “deserved” but is determined to be back “at my best” for the national team.

Balotelli has not appeared for Italy since the 2014 World Cup and was once more left out of the Azzurri’s squad for the upcoming international break, but the striker believes Giampiero Ventura was right not to be swayed by his clinical start for Nice.

“I’ve missed it for some time, but it’s been deserved. I hope to return in blue very soon, but only at my best,” the former Milan attacker told Sky Sport Italia.

“To me, it’s better to have skipped this match. I want to be at my best for the upcoming games.”

Balotelli then elaborated on his departure from Liverpool and decision to join Nice.

“He suggested me to leave, do well on loan and return because he valued Balotelli the footballer,” he added.

“I don’t know him. I told him ‘thank you and goodbye’.

“The city where I am now is beautiful. The environmental aspect played a role in my decision, having recently lived in Liverpool and Milan.

“The team, however, are very young. We’re almost all the same age, this is the football that I like.”

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