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Saturday September 22 2018
Dante: 'No Balotelli excuses!'

Mario Balotelli was criticised by his Nice teammate Dante, who said “it’s up to him to step up and take charge, not blame the team.”

Nice suffered another Ligue 1 defeat to Montpellier this evening and Italy international Balo was in the starting XI after shaking off an injury, but made very little impact.

This riled teammate Dante, who told Canal+ that the time for excuses is over.

“It’s up to him to step up and take charge in attack, to take on some responsibility,” said Dante.

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Friday September 21 2018
‘Juventus among CL favourites’

Marcello Lippi sees Juventus as “among the favourites for the Champions League” this season.

The China Coach is a Bianconeri legend, and was the last tactician to win the trophy with them as they beat Ajax in the 1996 final.

“Juve are among the favourites for the Champions League this season,” Lippi said on Radio Sportiva.

“They’re in a group with Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

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Friday September 21 2018
Balotelli back for Nice

Italy striker Mario Balotelli is back in Nice’s squad to face Montpellier on Saturday.

Balotelli had been left out of Nice’s 2-1 win against Stade Rennais last Friday, amidst reports he was overweight and unfit.

However, the 28-year-old has been recalled by Patrick Vieira, who is going for a third straight win this weekend.

SuperMario has played just 76 minutes of competitive club football, as well as only an hour of Italy’s 1-1 draw with Poland during the international break.

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Friday September 21 2018
‘Expert’ Tavecchio defends record

Carlo Tavecchio has leapt to the defence of his record as FIGC President. “I’m a football expert.”

Tavecchio stepped down from the FIGC after Italy’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, which marked their first no-show for 60 years, but the 75-year-old made it clear he had still plenty to offer.

“I hope those supported by the majority will work to find a credible President,” he told Corriere dello Sport.

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Thursday September 20 2018
Agent: ‘Tonali better than Pirlo!’

Sandro Tonali’s agent says the Brescia youngster shouldn’t be compared to Andrea Pirlo - “if we want to go over the top, at the same age he’s even stronger”.

The 18-year-old has been linked with a host of Serie A clubs, and has already been saddled with the tag of the new Pirlo.

“Sandro Tonali is Sandro Tonali, it's not the new Pirlo, on the contrary…” Roberto La Florio told calciomercato.com.

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Thursday September 20 2018
Gilardino to retire?

World Cup winner Alberto Gilardino has reportedly decided to retire, after scoring 273 goals across his career.

The veteran striker has taken an FIGC course to become a Coach, but was considering one more season as a player.

There was an offer on the table from Serie C side Pro Piacenza, but Gazzetta dello Sport reports that he has decided to hang up his boots.

Gilardino scored 188 Serie A goals, putting him ahead of Gabriel Batistuta and level with Alessandro Del Piero and Beppe Signori.

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Tuesday September 18 2018
Thuram ‘ashamed’ of Italy

Former Juventus and Parma defender Lilian Thuram claims he would be ‘ashamed to be Italian’ in 2018.

A Frenchman of Guadeloupian descent, Thuram was asked about how he would feel living in a country semi-governed by right-wing politician and Lega Nord leader Matteo Salvini, known for his heavy anti-immigration stance.

“How would I feel in Salvini’s Italy? Listen, I played in Italy in 2002 when Jean-Marie Le Pen came to the ballot against [Jacques] Chirac in the French presidential elections,” he told FamigliaCristiana.it.

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Tuesday September 18 2018
Prandelli: ‘Too many foreigners’

Former Italy CT Cesare Prandelli believes there are too many foreigners in youth academies - “I said the same things eight years ago…”

New Coach Roberto Mancini has had a difficult start with a draw and a loss in his first two competitive games, but one of his predecessors isn’t laying the blame at Mancio’s door.

“I said the same things eight years ago,” Prandelli explained to Tuttosport.

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Monday September 17 2018

Gilardino considers Serie C offer

Alberto Gilardino is considering an offer from Pro Piacenza, having said he’ll retire if he doesn’t get an “interesting offer”.

The striker is taking the FIGC course to become a Coach, and is currently without a club after six goals in 16 games for Spezia last season.

“The course at Coverciano was great,” Gilardino told Gianluca Di Marzio’s website.

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Sunday September 16 2018
Mazzarri: 'Zaza not ready for Torino'

Walter Mazzarri argues Simone Zaza might be ready to start for Italy, but he “doesn’t have the tempo” to lead Torino against Udinese.

It kicks off at 14.00 UK time (13.00 GMT), click here for a match preview.

“We’ve prepared knowing this will not be easy, as Udinese already beat Sampdoria on their home turf,” said the Granata boss in his Press conference.

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