By 90Min
May 19, 2018

Roberto Mancini looks to have reignited Mario Balotelli's international career after the striker was included in his first squad since taking over as national team manager.


Mancini was appointed as Italy manager last week, becoming their first permanent manager since Gian Piero Ventura was sacked in November last year after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and has named his initial 30-man squad for Italy's upcoming friendlies against United Arab Emirates, France and the Netherlands.

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It was revealed by Goal that the new manager also gave call ups to Chelsea's Ederson Palmieri, Sassuolo striker Domenico Berardi and Torino midfielder Daniele Baselli amongst others, however it was the recall of Balotelli which stole the headlines.


The former Manchester City and Liverpool striker hasn't featured for the national team since the 2014 World Cup where Italy failed to qualify from the group stages, however, has been handed a lifeline by the new manager.

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The pair have had previous experience working together at both Inter Milan and Manchester City, with the pair winning a Serie A title, a Premier League title and an FA Cup together, however it hasn't all been successful.


During Manchester City's pre-season tour of America in 2011, Balotelli was one-on-one with the goalkeeper, however rather than tucking the ball neatly into the net he instead decided to try a rather audacious flick which missed the target from close range. As a result of this, Mancini substituted the striker instantly and the pair were seen having a heated exchange on the bench.

It now looks as though years after the incident, both have forgotten the past and will focus on the future and rebuilding an Italian side who will be watching the World Cup at home rather than playing in it for the first time since 1958.

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