Balotelli could be crucial to Italy World Cup bid, says Pirlo

The veteran midfielder believes every player will be a key part of the Azzurri’s campaign in Brazil but feels Balotelli could have a huge role this summer

Andrea Pirlo believes Italy’s bid to win the World Cup could depend on the form of AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli.

Balotelli was an integral part of Italy’s unbeaten qualifying campaign, scoring five goals, and the 23-year-old will be looked upon to help Italy through a tricky World Cup group featuring Uruguay, England and Costa Rica.

Experienced Juventus midfielder Pirlo feels the form of Balotelli could be crucial to Italy’s success, but warned that the whole squad will have to be at their best.

“We know it’s a difficult group, but I really like the atmosphere in Brazil,” he said in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. 

“Do we depend on Mario Balotelli? Partly yes, but we are all important to the cause. Mario is old enough now, so he doesn’t need advice any more.

“He just needs to focus on finding his form in the summer, concentrate on the football and leave the rest alone.”

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