Galliani: Balotelli not to blame for Italy exit and will stay at AC Milan

The Rossoneri vice-president has dismissed talk of a move to Arsenal for the enigmatic forward, who has been lambasted by the Italian press for his performances in Brazil

AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani is stunned that Mario Balotelli is being blamed for Italy’s early World Cup exit and says the Serie A side have no intention of letting the striker leave San Siro.

The 23-year-old attacker scored the winning goal in the Azzurri’s tournament-opening 2-1 win over England but missed a golden opportunity in the shock loss Costa Rica before being replaced at half-time during the decisive defeat by Uruguay, after picking up a booking that ruled him out of any last-16 clash.

Balotelli has since come in for heavy criticism in the Italian press, while there have also been reports that some of his team-mates had turned against him by the end of his country’s World Cup campaign.

Galliani, though, feels that it is wholly unfair to make Balotelli the scapegoat for the national team’s failure to make it out of the group stage and completely dismissed reports that the club are considering cashing in on their most valuable asset by offloading him to Arsenal.

“Balotelli will remain at Milan,” he told ANSA. “It does not sit well with me that it seems that the international team has lost because of Balotelli.

“Italy lost for many other reasons. Balotelli was the only striker who has scored a goal [at the World Cup, in a 2-1 win over England], while others have not had a shot on goal.

“I do not understand why you only talk about Balotelli. There was a coach, the technical staff and 22 other players: we have to talk about the collective.

“It seems now that the major disappointment was Balotelli.

“I do not understand this and do not want to really discuss it because I did not understand why the whole squad was not discussed.”

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