Roberto Mancini Explains Mario Balotelli Italy Snub
Italy boss Roberto Mancini has explained his decision to snub controversial striker Mario Balotelli for the latest Italy squad.
Balotelli recently made headlines when he hit out at the racial abuse he suffered during Brescia’s Serie A match against Hellas Verona.
Following the incident, Italian Football Federation president Gabriele Gravina suggested that calling Balotelli up to the next national team camp would send a strong message to the racist elements within the country, but the former Inter Milan, AC Milan and Manchester City star was overlooked for selection.
Azzurri boss Mancini has now explained his decision to snub the 29-year-old, whom he had previously worked with at both Inter and City.
“When I call Mario Balotelli, it will be because he deserves it, not because of the colour of his skin,” Mancini said, as reported by Reuters.
“I know Mario and I love him. Remember, I got Mario to play when he was a boy, so I know him really well.
“You can think like the president said, but you need to understand that if Balotelli gets another chance, it will be because he deserves it from a technical point of view.”
Balotelli joined Brescia from French side Olympique de Marseille at the beginning of the season, and has scored twice in seven appearances for the Serie A side so far.
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