Official: Balotelli makes Azzurri return after 3-year absence

by | Jan 24, 2022 17:32

Mario Balotelli has officially been called up by Italy coach Roberto Mancini for this international break.

The 31-year-old Italian striker, who is currently plying his trade with Adana Demirspor in Turkey, has received his first Azzurri call up since September 2018, when he played 62 minutes of a 1-1 draw against Poland in the UEFA Nations League.

Coach Mancini knows Balotelli well, with the pair having history together at both Inter and Manchester City. Whilst they developed a strong relationship, the player’s off-field antics often distracted from his potential on the pitch.

The 31-year-old Balotelli has the chance to be the key man in Italy’s upcoming World Cup play-offs; the Azzurri must first defeat North Macedonia before facing the winner of Portugal-Turkey.

Mancini’s team have lacked a consistent goalscorer, with Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti both failing to be clinical on the big stage, and so Balotelli could carve out a spot for himself in the squad.

22 Comments

  1. Andrej

    I hope Italy will go through, but this looks like bye bye World cup… They must be joking with some names in this nomination. Sensi? Balotelli? Where does he play? Bernardeschi again? He is a complete disaster on both levels, club and national. Politano si much better player in this position. Again, the biggest problem will be between the lines, in-shape Caprari should have been included in the squad.

  2. Rosario

    Balotelli’s time with the national team coincided with the dark ages for us. Now he’ll return at the dawn of another dark age as we fail to make the world cup.

  3. Brandon

    seriously FI ? Where’s my message?

  4. villarusso

    I hope Balo proves himself worthy of Mancini’s trust. He could be a strong presence in the area. I hate to see wasted natural talent. If everyone is up to the task, they should go thru.

  5. Keaton87

    Balotelli will score vs Portugal and do the same celebration he did vs. Germany, mark my words.

  6. Brandon

    Hopefully he’s not on a card when he does it…

  7. Gt

    Pedro? Felipe? Why???????

  8. Forza Juve

    Balotelli has always done better for country than club. (Opposite to immobile). with Belotti and Chiesa injured it makes sense to call him. Italy need goal scorers and penalty takers. Imagine if he scores the winning goal. Football is all about 2nd chances. He’s the super sub.

  9. Brandon

    Boni, Jorgi, Balo, Joao Pedro, Immobile, Berna, Insigne, Berardi, Biraghi.

    Lots of Rigoristi can be brought in should it look like the teams are alright for it to be decided on PK’s.

    With Gigione in net.

    Tanta Roba

  10. Brandon

    Also. I’ve always been of the opinion that Jorginho got his style of PK taking from Balotelli. Slight modification but the idea.

    If both are on the pitch at the same time, they need to discuss beforehand who is on PK Duty.

    I don’t want to see another scene like when he was at Liverpool with Jordan Henderson. That waa prime toxic Balo that I can do without.

  11. Brandon

    If we play Portugal, Ronaldo will NEVER come off.

    Let’s hope if they get past the Turks, it goes 120 Minutes and highly physical (but clean, of course!).

    His status of being untouchable, besides his lack of tracking back could be a handicap. Of course, respect to Ronaldo.

    Nothing but respect to our opponents but I do believe we have the best TEAM-concept and best Manager of all teams in Path C.

  12. Dollarumma

    I just hope that Dollarumma doesn’t join the team in Qatar. Don’t need that negative energy in the camp.

  13. Stefano

    Balo deserves a spot. He is a naturally gifted footballer & that’s exactly what Italy needs at the moment. Pure effective football with the end product – World Cup qualification 2022. Super Mario can be the one with the defining goal in the games of small error & margins.

  14. joe del monte

    I have already come to the realization that Italy will not be at the world cup again. Sad but true and Mancini will move on and we will start all over again

  15. Vero Rossonero

    For all those freaking out at the call ups, the real matches are in March. This selection is not indicative of who will actually be there. You think Ricci, Scalvini, and Fagioli will be there? Come on people. Stop drowning in tea cups. Many of these call ups are to test these players together with many of the normal group.

  16. me who

    first off its one game at a time.
    should only be thinking of Macedonia.
    if we get past them and then look over roster who’s fit, didnt pick up a knock and best fits the game plan v a Portugal or Turkey…. but cmon Portugal are the favorites to advance.

  17. Feroli

    This is just a training camp so no need to get all down cast. Mancini can look at the options and see if there is a formation that can play Balotelli as a pure centre forward. There is no Chiesa and immobile and Belotti are hardly prolific. Balotelli could work – he is strong, fast and scores. Even as a sub he can make a difference.

  18. Michael

    Hey Guys what I had earlier thought has now come to happen! Balotelli for sure like I had earlier sent my article. Am glad that my idea was right. I trust in Balo, and for those who still think he can’t do the magic like in 2012 ,just wait and see . you will be fating your own words

  19. Michael

    Mario Ballotelli, Scamaca, Sensi ,Lazzari, Tonali, just watch those guys!!

  20. TONINO

    Well done Michael. Great to read positive words. Forza Italia

  21. JEz

    Unbelievable!
    This is a million steps backwards.

  22. Roy

    Forza Azzurri 👊🍀💙

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