Balotelli still has Italy chance

Le Championnat

Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura has said rejuvenated Nice striker Mario Balotelli could earn an Azzurri recall.

The 26-year-old has hit five goals in four Ligue 1 appearances for Nice since joining them from Liverpool in the summer.

Balotelli, who has 13 goals for his country from his previous 33 caps, has not played for Italy since the World Cup in 2014 but such is his form in France that there are calls for him to be given another chance at international level.

And manager Ventura has admitted he may get a reprieve – if he can prove he can be a team player.

He told Radio RAI: “It seems like everybody’s talking about Balotelli at the moment. He’s a fantastic player who has been suppressed by a way of being that has not put him in the conditions to express himself to his best.

“There are no preclusions for anybody, but in these years there has been a dip in his level and there is a gap that he needs to bridge with his behaviour and tactical attitude so that he puts the team first, because the team comes before the individual and it is not the team that has to be at Balotelli’s beck and call.”


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