Zambrotta: Balotelli can 'reconquer Italy'

The ex-Azzurri international believes the Nice striker has the talent to force his way into Giampiero Ventura’s squad, having not featured for the national team since 2014

Mario Balotelli can “reconquer Italy” if he steers clear of the problems that have stunted his development so far, according to former Azzurri defender Gianluca Zambrotta.

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Balotelli has failed to deliver on his early promise and his career appeared to be in free fall following a disappointing spell with Liverpool, which included an underwhelming loan period at former club Milan.

The ex-Manchester City forward was given the opportunity to resurrect his career by Ligue 1 outfit Nice this season and he has started brightly, scoring six goals in five appearances in all competitions.

Balotelli, 26, has been accused of having a poor attitude in the past and has not played for his country since the 2014 World Cup.

However, 98-cap Zambrotta believes Balotelli has the talent to force his way into new Italy coach Giampiero Ventura’s plans, as long has he can prove his form in France.

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“He went to play in an important league in France. It is up on him to reconquer Italy,” he told Omnisport

“He’s got potential and a huge talent. He just has to focus on what he knows best… scoring and being important for his own club.

“He can for sure be an option for Ventura, but it’s up on him.”

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