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Italy, Raiola: ‘Disappointed with Balotelli snub’

Italy, Raiola: ‘Disappointed with Balotelli snub’

The controversial Mino Raiola can’t understand why Mario Balotelli wasn’t called-up for Italy’s upcoming friendlies against Argentina and England.

Balotelli was expected to be called-up for the national team for the first time since the 2014 World Cup due to his fantastic performances with Nice, but ‘Super Mario’ has not been included in interim Manager Luigi Di Biagio’s squad.

Di Biagio made it clear that Balotelli has to do more than score to earn a call-up.

Raiola is Balotelli’s agent and the Super-Agent represents a huge number of footballers, including Gianluigi Donnarumma, Marco Verratti and Giacomo Bonaventura; all of whom have been included in Di Biago’s squad.

Speaking with Radio 24 Raiola vented his frustration at Di Biagio.

“We’re disappointed with the failure to call-up Balotelli.

“We’re even more disappointed with the explanation we received, publicly because we haven’t spoken to anyone.

“If Di Biagio says that numbers don’t count for a striker then the national team is closed for players like him.

“We respect the CT, the problem isn’t him it’s the football system. We have a federation that works without a plan, an idea for the future.

“I repeat, we’re disappointed and we don’t understand what a player has to do to go to the national team.

“The national team should be represented by the best, so if the best don’t go then we don’t understand the criteria.

“The problem, I repeat, is not Di Biagio, but what the national team wants to do.

“In other nations, when the National team plays, it’s a party but for us it’s a reason to fight. There’s no plan or identity, all we do is change CT.

“I would restart from the German system, we have a system similar to the English one, where the CT works as a manager, but Di Biagio isn’t the right person for that.

“When things go well it’s thanks to everyone, but when they go badly the CT takes the blame alone, even if he doesn’t have any problems.

“To have Balotelli in the national team you need a person with a strong character to manage him. Ventura wasn’t that, in fact he was in total confusion and Di Biagio is showing the same thing.

“The striker is just a player who scores, and if the dressing room doesn’t want him then who is saying that? Do they have names and surnames? Do they control the dressing room or does the CT?

“We need figures like Costacurta and Branca, people who can oppose the CT in these decisions, we need precise technical plans to build for the future”.

Di Biagio’s squad has left Azzurri fans frustrated as the likes of Balotelli and Mattia Caldara of Atalanta were left out of the squad but 40 year-old Gianluigi Buffon got the call despite announcing his international retirement.

“He was selected with motivations that we don’t see for Balotelli. It’s almost discriminatory, and that disappoints me.

“We have no technical plan, yet we’re looking for a Coach with a plan to get us out of this crisis”.



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