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Buffon: Balotelli deserves Italy call-up

Italy v Poland - UEFA Nations League A
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Gianluigi Buffon has encouraged Italy manager Roberto Mancini to recall Mario Balotelli suggesting he would be a great addition to the national team.

Balotelli has rediscovered his scoring form since moving to Marseille from Nice in January, netting eight times in 14 appearances for the Ligue 1 giants.

However, there are lots of question marks about his character.

“Mario’s doing well at Marseille, he’s shown sincerity and maturity,” Buffon, who plays forMarseille’s rivals Paris Saint-Germain, told ‘E poi c’e Cattelan’ and cited on Football Italia.

“He’s also great for the national team. It’s said that the French League is not that tough.

“Maybe it’s not too evolved tactically, but it’s at the top in terms of technique and physicality.

“PSG aside, teams like Lille and Lyon would finish top five in Serie A.”

The former Juventus and Italy goalkeeper then touched on more intimate topics, including his love for Subbuteo, the 2006 World Cup – and even recreational drugs.

“When I retire, I’ll take care of my Subbuteo hobby,” confessed the 41-year-old.

“Once at school, I smoked a cigarette… let’s say it was, customised. That was the one and only time.

“The 2006 World Cup reminds me of Gattuso, who was tormenting Pirlo’s head with his knuckles. Perhaps that’s why Andrea speaks slowly!”