Italian footballer Giorgio Chiellini says his fellow compatriot Mario Balotelli, who plays as a striker for Serie A club Brescia, “deserved to be slapped” for his attitude during Italy’s 2013 Confederations Cup campaign.
Italy lost 4-2 to Brazil in the group stage of the tournament, eventually going on to finish third – and the defender says Balotelli didn’t help his team during that early defeat.
National team boss Roberto Mancini recently said the door was open for Balotelli to return for his country, but the 29-year-old forward has won just three caps in the last five years.
“Balotelli is a negative person with no respect for the team,” Chiellini wrote in an upcoming autobiography, as he confirmed to La Reppublica.
“In 2013, in the Confederations Cup against Brazil, he didn’t help us at all. He deserved a slap.
“Someone thinks he is among the top five players in the world, I never even thought that he could be in the top ten or twenty.”