Balotelli warned over Euro 2012 spot
ROME - Reuters
Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli (2ndL) attempts to head the ball against Blackburn Rovers during their Premier League match in Manchester on Feb 25.Italy coach Cesare Prandelli warned Mario Balotelli yesterday that unless the striker stopped getting into disciplinary trouble he risked being left out of the country’s Euro 2012 squad.
Making sure his players conduct themselves in the right manner has been a key element of Prandelli’s tenure since taking over after the 2010 World Cup and he has continually omitted players serving club bans.
Manchester City’s Balotelli returned from a domestic suspension to score a goal and shine in Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League win over Blackburn Rovers but it was not enough to change Prandelli’s mind despite Italy having a raft of injured forwards.
“The players know it, acting like this they risk missing the Euros,” Prandelli told a news conference ahead of Italy’s friendly with United States tomorrow.
“Enough of this football full of rash reactions and punches, it is a sign of weakness. You can’t be in the national squad if you risk leaving the team with 10 men.”
Balotelli was sent off for kicking out at Tottenham Hotspur’s Scott Parker last month while AS Roma forward Pablo Osvaldo, also left out of Prandelli’s squad, was dismissed on Sunday for an off-the-ball incident in the 4-1 loss at Atalanta.