Football News

“It would be a dream” — Mario Balotelli says he’s spoken with Roberto Mancini about Italy recall

By Ben Green

Published: 15:56, 18 November 2021


Mario Balotelli says it would be a “dream” scenario if received a recall to the Italy national team, whom he has not represented since 2018. 

The mercurial marksman has largely gone under the radar since leaving Brescia in 2019, turning out for Monza in Serie B last campaign, before joining Turkish Super Lig club Adana Demirspor in the summer, with whom he has scored five goals in 13 games.

Roberto Mancini’s Gli Azzurri will look to gain entry into next year’s World Cup via the play-offs in March following their second-placed finish in Group C of Europe’s Qualifiers, placing below winners Switzerland, and Balotelli is eyeing up a recall for those decisive matches.

Capped 36 times by the European champions, the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker says he would walk to Italy on foot if he were offered a recall by Mancini, with whom he says he has been in regular contact with regarding a potential return to the national reckoning.

“I feel good after the last two and a half years. I feel ready to return to the national team. It would be a dream. I’d be leaving Turkey by foot now if I knew I got a call-up in March,” he told OCW Sport.

“I have a very good relationship with Mancini and I have always had it. He just needs to tell me what he wants from me so that I can return to the national team. And I will. If I’ve heard it lately? Yes.

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“What he wants from me he has already said several times,” Balotelli continued. “I do not have to promise anything to myself. He knows if I’m okay, why shouldn’t he call me?

“For my characteristics, I could play with everybody. Even with Ciro [Immobile]. Would I take penalty kicks? I won’t reply because that would create controversy, but everybody knows I can take spot-kicks. Every footballer dreams of being the striker of his national team.”

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