Prandelli has faith in Cassano, Balotelli
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli today handed out advice to his two most errant talents.
And while Balotelli is at the relative beginning of his career, 28-year-old Cassano has already stumbled over a number of pitfalls during a journey that took him from Bari to Roma, Real Madrid, Sampdoria and now Milan.
Cassano is a known hothead who has often found himself in trouble with football authorities, coaches and his clubs. He transferred to Milan earlier this month after Sampdoria shunted him out the exit door following a dispute with their president Riccardo Garrone.
But Prandelli believes Cassano may have finally learnt his lesson. "Cassano feels a great responsibility because he is going to become a father, he feels great responsibility for his family and I don't think he'll mess up again," said the former Roma and Fiorentina coach.
"Every which way he should do more press conferences because he's very nice," added Prandelli in reference to Cassano's hilarious performance during his official Milan presentation when he said he should be dragged off in handcuffs if he messes up this time. "During the Sampdoria affair I phoned him, it's my nature to take the side of someone who is being attacked from all corners and that's what I did with Antonio."
Cassano lost a lot of his conditioning during the two months he was frozen out but Prandelli insisted that if he regains his shape, he will be back in the Italy squad. "When he was out of the [Sampdoria] squad I didn't pick him but now he's playing and we're following him. If he manages a certain consistency he will be picked for the next match."
Prandelli also had some advice for City's Balotelli. "I've been very clear with Balotelli, I told him that everyone recognises his extraordinary quality and that I hope that he will be spoken about for what he does on the pitch, not off it," added Prandelli.
"He needs someone to advise him, someone to accompany him on his journey. It's true he's just a boy, he says what he thinks but not always in the right way."