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Prandelli issues Balotelli warning

Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli has once again warned Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli about his behaviour.

The 22-year-old’s temperament came into question recently after a much-publicised training ground spat with City manager Roberto Mancini in what was just one of a string of off-field incidents that have marred his career in England.

Since the incident Balotelli has been linked with a move back to Serie A but Prandelli insists Mancini is the right man to get through to the mercurial striker, who has not started a game in over a month.

“I’ve talked to Mario [Balotelli] and I’ve told him that his only benchmark has to be [Roberto] Mancini,” Prandelli said.

“It was Mancini who has raised him, it was Mancini who wanted him and it is only Mancini himself who can scold him.

“Mancini is the only manager, the only person who can actually make Mario grow. And Mario has to listen to Mancini only.”

Prandelli was more positive when giving his opinion on the Serie A, praising the standard of football the league is beginning to offer.

Often criticised for its lack of attacking play, the Serie A has been transformed in recent years with teams such as Napoli playing an attractive brand of football which Prandelli believes can only benefit the game.

“This new level of competitiveness helps football, helps our fans and Italian football itself because Serie A is more engaging. Many more teams face the big guns trying to play open and attractive football and the result is that Serie A is definitely more entertaining,” he said.

“I think that Lazio and Napoli have shown great qualities in these years. They are just giving continuity to the work they’ve been doing so far. But I repeat, I think that the most important side of the story here is that many teams want to actually play open football against the big teams and that’s a very positive sign for years to come.

“Yesterday I’ve watched Parma v Juventus and Parma played some attractive football. I’d give them a great rating just for this reason. Many Italian managers have never been daring, but they have now understood that only through attractive football they can actually gain results.”

Mon 14 January, 2013
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