Chiellini has no problems with Balotelli

Posted Thursday, November 13, 2014 by

Chiellini has no problems with Balotelli

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini insists that he and the rest of his Italy team-mates have no problem with Mario Balotelli returning to the Azzurri squad.

Antonio Conte called up the misfiring Liverpool striker for the first time since he replaced Cesare Prandelli as Italy coach this summer.

Balotelli, who has yet to score in the Barclays Premier League for Liverpool since moving to Anfield this summer from AC Milan, has not played for Italy since their first-round exit from the World Cup in Brazil.

When asked about Balotelli's return, Chiellini said to the Italian media on Wednesday: "There is nothing to fix (with regards to Balotelli).

"We have closed the chapter on the World Cup, which we all knew went badly.

"A new cycle begins and we must forget the past while remembering the desire to make up for what happened."

The 24-year-old Balotelli was criticised by sections of the Italian media following the Azzurri's early exit from the World Cup and there were reports that some of his national team-mates had turned against him by the end of the tournament in Brazil.

However, Chiellini denied that Conte had briefed his players regarding Balotelli's return.

"There was no confrontation, there was no need for one," Chiellini said. "The coach (Conte) makes the decisions and we're a united group that wants to win.

"Our only focus is on the team and no-one has asked us about Balotelli, especially not Conte.

"I understand that for you (the press) it's important to know how many times he (Balotelli) sneezed or went to the bathroom, but we only think about the team and about winning.

"Everyone is important in this group."

Italy take on Croatia at the San Siro in Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier, with both teams level at the top of Group H after winning their opening two matches.

The Azzurri take on Albania in an international friendly two days later in Genoa.

Paris St Germain midfielder Marco Verratti will not play a part in both games.

The 22-year-old returned to France on Wednesday having been ruled out with a left adductor injury.

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