Italy coach Ventura to talk to Balotelli before naming squad

by Associated Press on December 19, 2016 at 11:00 am

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura says he will talk to forward Mario Balotelli before the Azzurri’s next set of matches in March.

Balotelli has revived his career in France, scoring eight goals in as many matches for Nice, but has not played for Italy since the 2014 World Cup.

Ventura says “I will talk with Balotelli before the next call-ups. His technical qualities are not up for discussion, but as my predecessors have also said there are other things concerning him that need to be evaluated.”

Italy was eliminated in the first round of the World Cup, where Balotelli was considered a distraction by several teammates.

Ventura says “after the conversation I will have with him, he will have to ask questions of himself, and above all give himself answers.”