Italy Coach Plays Down Dropping Mario Balotelli

Antonio Conte says Mario Balotelli's performance in English Premier League is being followed. This after the Liverpool striker was not named in the Italian squad announced for European Championship qualifying matches.

updated: October 07, 2014 09:32 IST
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Mario Balotelli Gerrard 8
Mario Balotelli (L) has failed to impress so far in EPL.


Florence: Italy coach Antonio Conte has played down his exclusion of Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli for upcoming European Championship qualifying matches.

Since transferring to Liverpool from AC Milan after the World Cup, Balotelli has yet to score in five appearances in the Premier League and was also left off last month's Italy squad.

"He has started on a new path, it's not easy," Conte said. "Let's give him time to integrate himself in this new league.

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