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Pirlo: Balotelli should emulate Kean

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Andrea Pirlo has advised ex-Italy teammate Mario Balotelli to emulate Italy’s rising star Moise Kean who hasn’t wasted the confidence placed in him.

Italy romped to a convincing 2-0 win over Finland in the first game of the Euro 2020 qualifying series with Juve’s striker Moise Kean scoring one of those goals.

Speaking after the game in a recent interview, Pirlo gave his verdict on the youngster, Balotelli and life after retirement.

“I’m very well, I don’t miss having to train every day and I missed being able to stay with my family more,” he said in a quote cited on Football Italia.

“After 25 years as a player, I’m not anxious about finding another job right away. I still have to think about what to do.

“I’d feel good in this Italy midfield. There are three quality midfielders and one mission: to play football, always. Also against Finland: in a word, I’d call it modern.”

Kean marked his full Italy debut with a goal against Finland on Saturday, while Balotelli was not called up to the Azzurri squad.

“He put himself back into play and, in my opinion, contention for the national team,” the 39-year-old said of the Olympique Marseille striker.

“if he really accepts he has no more excuses, that alone would be a good sign. However, in the meantime, it’s right that we call up Kean, given his performance in Udine.

“He hasn’t wasted the confidence placed in him and when he plays, he often scores goals. He offers a lot.”

Italy v Finland - UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier
UDINE, ITALY – MARCH 23: Moise Kean of Italy celebrates after scoring the second goal during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group J qualifying match between Italy and Finland at Stadio Friuli on March 23, 2019, in Udine, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)