Agent Unhappy With Balotelli Exclusion
Mino Raiola, world renowned agent of Italian striker, Mario Balotelli has indicated his disapproval at the exclusion of the OGC Nice man from the squad to prosecute the friendlies against Argentina and England.
Stand-in coach of the Azzurri, Luigi Di Biagio overlooked the former Liverpool man in his selection even though the striker has netted 22 goals in 31 matches for the Ligue 1 club this season.
Raiola spoke to the media about his unhappiness about the development.
Luigi Di Biagio has handed invitations to uncapped duo Patrick Cutrone and Federico Chiesa ahead of the two games.
“We are disappointed with the failure to call-up Balotelli.” he told Radio 24.
“We are even more disappointed with the explanation we received publicly because we haven’t spoken to anyone.
“If Di Biagio says that numbers don’t count for a striker then the national team is closed for players like him.
“The problem isn’t the coach – it’s the football system. We have a federation that works without a plan, an idea for the future.
“The national team should be represented by the best, so if the best don’t go then we don’t understand the criteria.
“In other nations, when the national team plays, it’s a party but for us it’s a reason to fight. There’s no plan or identity, all we do is change the manager.
Raiola added, “I would restart from the German system. We have a system similar to the English one, where the coach works as a manager, but Di Biagio isn’t the right person for that.
“When things go well it’s thanks to everyone, but when they go badly the coach takes the blame alone, even if he doesn’t have any problems.
“To have Balotelli in the national team you need a person with a strong character to manage him. Ventura wasn’t that, in fact he was in total confusion and Di Biagio is showing the same thing.
“The striker is just a player who scores, and if the dressing room doesn’t want him then who is saying that? Do they have names and surnames? Do they control the dressing room or does the coach?”
Italy won’t be featuring at the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after they were eliminated by Sweden in the playoffs. However, they have been drawn against Poland and Portugal in the UEFA Nations League.