Saturday November 12 2011
Mancini credited for Balotelli

FIGC director general Antonello Valentini gives Roberto Mancini the credit for Mario Balotelli’s improvement.

The Manchester City striker scored his debut senior Italy goal in last night’s 2-0 friendly win away to Poland.

“Mario is maturing quickly and Mancini deserves a lot of credit for that,” Valentini told Radio Sportiva.

“In my view, the meeting with those in the Sollicciano Prison also positively influenced his character.

“We suggested he take control of the Press conference before the game so he can understand how important communication is for a player of his level.”

The Azzurri put in an impressive performance in Poland and have already qualified for Euro 2012 unbeaten.

“We’ve got to keep our feet on the ground. The team is improving, but we’re still a work in progress. Plus we have to consider Cesare Prandelli had to make changes with Giuseppe Rossi and Antonio Cassano out for six months.”

Italy are on the field again on Tuesday at the Stadio Olimpico in a friendly with Copa America winners Uruguay, by which point the country could have a new Government.

“Before being footballers, we are first of all citizens of Italy, so we know full well what the country is going through.

“We will try to do our bit too, as for the Uruguay friendly we lowered the ticket prices so everyone can have a great night of football.”

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