Ranieri in praise of Balotelli
Mario Balotelli's performance for Italy in the friendly against Poland did not go unnoticed by Inter Milan coach Claudio Ranieri. The 21-year-old forward scored his first goal for the Azzurri and set up another in Friday's 2-0 victory.
Balotelli played three seasons for Inter before leaving the Serie A club for Manchester City in the summer of 2010. And Ranieri revealed he would like to coach Balotelli one day. "I would welcome Balotelli with open arms," Ranieri said in an interview with Corriere dello Sport. "He is a formidable talent. I have not spoken to the players in the changing room to understand if there is any aversion with regards to him."
Balotelli got into trouble with Inter fans when he was photographed wearing the shirt of AC Milan - the club he supported while growing up. He was dropped by Italy coach Cesare Prandelli for indiscipline earlier this year, but is doing well under Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini. "He can become one of the best players in the world but it's all down to him," Ranieri said.
Italy coach Carlo Ancelotti believes Mancini deserves credit for helping Balotelli develop. "Balotelli has matured," the former AC Milan and Chelsea coach said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "Now on the pitch he shows seriousness and gives an added value to the national team. Mario has found the right path thanks to Mancini."
Balotelli, who is under contract with City until June 2015, is set to lead Italy's attack in tomorrow's friendly against Uruguay in Rome.