MX23RW : Monday, November 12 18:37:50

Antonio Conte not ruling out Mario Balotelli recall

Italy head coach Antonio Conte admits that he would consider recalling Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli to the national side.

Antonio Conte has said that he has not ruled out recalling Mario Balotelli to his Italy squad in the future.

The Liverpool striker was left out of the squad for Italy's friendly against the Netherlands last month, and was suspended for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Norway.

The former Juventus boss, who took over at the national side following Cesare Prandelli's departure earlier this summer, told Corriere dello Sport: "I have no prejudice against Mario. I do not rule anyone out, but I do demand my players act like professionals. If you are not focused, if you wander about thinking only of yourself and basically graze on the pitch, then that's not good enough for me.

"My choice not to call Balotelli and [Alessio] Cerci was natural in that sense. From here on we'll see who will play, how they play and what attitudes are like on and off the field.

"With me it's a constant revolving door policy, so you can come in and you can go out. I want a squad of 25-30 players based on meritocracy. I am not interested if your name is x or y, as I want 30 people who think 'we are the Nazionale'."

Italy have qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Malta next month.


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Juventus head coach Antonio Conte shows his dejection during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and Juventus at Stadio Artemio Franchi on October 20, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

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