Mancini: Balotelli more than goals

VINOVO, ITALY - JUNE 02: Head coach Italy Roberto Mancini (L) and Mario Balotelli chat during a Italy training session at Juventus Center Vinovo on June 2, 2018 in Vinovo, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Italy’s manager Roberto Mancini has urged Mario Balotelli to work o his attitude as well as the scoring aspect of his game.

Mancini has called up 35 players for a two-day training camp, with the squad consisting of mainly youngsters, and he urged Serie A sides to use Ajax as the blueprint.

The Azzurri squad has experienced a rise in form in their recent Euro 2020 qualifying series and they hope to build on that success.

“We’re trying to carry out a shared vision,” he said at a Press conference via Football Italia.

“Being able to give the teams a certain attacking mentality is a positive thing. We hope to succeed together.

“The younger national teams are growing a lot and doing well. The problem is when young people get to the first team and find it hard to play.

“We talk a lot about Ajax, but for three, four or five years they didn’t win anything. They play young players and believe in them, even when they make mistakes.

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“If players have talent, it’s only a matter of time.”

Balotelli has scored seven goals for Olympique Marseille since arriving from Ligue 1 rivals Nice in January, but questions marks remain over his temperament according to the former Inter boss.

“Balotelli knows that in addition to scoring and playing well, he must behave well,” he added.

“On the field, those who are always at risk of being sent off are a problem. If they hear us call Chiellini and Bonucci elderly, they’d be offended.

“I believe we have some good, young defenders like Caldara and [Gianluca] Mancini, plus we have two or three in the Under-21 squad.

“We don’t have any problems with defenders and goalkeepers.”

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