Italy — 10 October 2012

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has revealed that he considered leaving Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli out of his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

The former-Fiorentina boss was considering leaving Balotelli out because he chose to have laser eye surgery rather than join up with the Azzurri for the last qualification games.


The former-Viola boss told a press conference: “I tell you the truth, when he decided to undergo surgery just two weeks before his commitments to the national team, there was hurt,”

“We now need to understand if he wants to become a champion. The blue shirt is a wonderful thing for all players. I had some thoughts (about dropping him), but then I thought of the games he has played for his country and I was comforted.”


I think the game he is probably thinking about is the Euro 2012 semi-final against Germany, were Balotelli scored twice in the first half and caused the German defence problems all game. That game was a display of the good side of his game.


The petulant side of his game can at times outweigh his good attributes and to complete the set his behaviour can be downright ugly. When he isn’t having a good game he can let the frustration get the better of him.

This can lead to him making silly tackles, sulk and go missing on the pitch. The bad side of his personality has led to many managers criticising his behaviour, even the great Jose Mourinho washed his hands of him at Inter.


At 22 years of age Mario Balotelli is still relatively young and has time to mature into a great player with the right guidance. Unfortunately I don’t believe his age is the problem, I think he has a destructive personality that will probably prevent him becoming a world-class player.

It’s a shame because he has all the attributes needed to be a top player. His lack of mental strength could cost him the status his football ability may merit in the future.

Should Mario Balotelli be in the Italy squad?


About Author

David Nugent

David is a 29 year-old football fan and journalist, who is passionate about the beautiful game. He is a lifelong supporter of Premier League Everton and likes nothing better than a healthy discussion about the world's favourite sport.

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