Roberto Mancini Challenges Balotelli to Reclaim Italian National Team Spot

Italy national team manager Roberto Mancini has challenged Mario Balotelli to reclaim his place in the Italian national team. The controversial striker has become something of a forgotten man, but he is still in the prime of his career at 28 years of age. After having come through the youth ranks at Inter Milan, his immense talent earned him a move to Manchester City where he was united with Mancini. The three years at Etihad Stadium was quite interesting for Balotelli, who clearly had the talent for becoming one of the greatest players but he was let down by his detrimental attitude.

Since then, he has represented clubs like AC Milan, Liverpool, and Nice. Recently, he made the switch to Marseille and has made a major impact by scoring three goals in just four games for the team. These goals for the French team, who are challenging for a European spot, has made Balotelli hit the headlines after several years. The striker made his debut for the Italian national team back in 2010 and he has since featured in 36 games for Italy. His return of 14 goals in these matches is quite good for a forward. Mancini does not appear to have forgotten his great ties with Balotelli and has challenged the striker to make a return to national team football.

How Roma will line up vs Porto

The Champions League is back with a key fixture which sees last year semifinalists AS Roma face Portuguese side FC Porto in a round of 16 clash on Tuesday. Roma came second behind Real Madrid in the group stages while Porto won their group ahead of Schalke 04.
Roma have endured a disappointing campaign so far in Serie A and lie a point behind AC Milan in the race for the last Champions League slot. However, a comprehensive 3-0 victory away to Chievo on Friday provides the perfect tonic for the side ahead of the match.

Roma’s Coach Eusebio Di Francesco is not a coach known for tweaking his team and the lineup is not expected to experience too many changes. Mirante is expected to be in goal as first choice goalkeeper Robin Olsen is currently injured.

Paul Merson thinks Jorginho played like Aquilani

Paul Merson reckons that Tottenham Hotspur in the recent London derby managed to expose the Gunners’ new sensation Jorginho who, in that game, appears as if he was Alberto Aquilani.

Aquilani’s case is well known to everyone who follows the Premier League. When he made the switch from Italy to UK and landed at Anfield, everybody was talking about him as he was tipped to be the next Premier League superstar. But he couldn’t do any bit of justice to the reputation he had come up with and proved to be mighty inconsistent for the Reds.

Matteo Politano speaks after Inter Milan’s Champions League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur

Italy international Matteo Politano has said that Inter Milan will focus on winning the final Champions League game against PSV Eindhoven next month following the club’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in midweek. The Nerazzurri had a three-point advantage coming into Wednesday night’s game versus Spurs but that was, however, nullified with the north London side bagging the sole goal through Christian Eriksen off the bench.

Speaking after the game, Politano acknowledged that the club were expecting a difficult encounter against Spurs and they were eventually left disappointed after conceding during the dying stages of the encounter, he said: “We knew that today’s match would be a very difficult one with Tottenham at their best. We played well in the first half when we did not concede much, in the second half it felt like we controlled the game, when all of a sudden their goal came out of the blue.”

Roman Olsen pleased to bag clean sheet

AS Roma goalkeeper Roman Olsen has revealed his delight after bagging his first Serie A clean sheet for the Giallorossi.

The Capital outfit have endured a slow start to the season with just two wins from their opening six matches and the most recent came in midweek where they sealed a comfortable 4-0 win over newcomers Frosinone.

Paul Merson hopeful Jorginho does not flop like Alberto Aquilani

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson is hopeful that Jorginho has a good career with Chelsea and does not follow the same route as former Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani. The Italy international was the Blues’ first signing under new manager Maurizio Sarri and he made his Premier League debut against Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson highlighted Jorginho as the ‘proper player’ – a tag which was once associated with compatriot Aquilani. Nevertheless, the 50-year-old remains optimistic that Jorginho fares differently under the tutelage of Sarri, he said: “I think Jorginho is a proper player. You just hope he doesn’t end up like an Aquilani.When he came over to Liverpool, he had all those figures, he was the best passer in Italy.They don’t play the way we play. In Italy you get the ball off the goalie, you get your head up and you start spraying it left, right and centre.When Aquilani came over, he’d get the ball and somebody (would take it) and he’d be like ‘where’s the ball gone?’. So all them things will take time.”

Mario Balotelli admits he was hurt by Italy snub

Mario Balotelli has admitted that he was hurt after being left out of the Italy squad for the past four years. The Nice striker returned to the national team fray under new boss Roberto Mancini last month but he confessed his disappointment over the lack of opportunities since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Speaking to reporters, he said: “I was upset without the Nazionale. There’s no point talking about the past now, as we have to start again and look to the future. It’s disappointing I wasn’t even considered, but there’s no good thinking about that now. Antonio Conte was right not to call me up during Euro 2016, because physically I was not in good shape. Giampiero Ventura spoke to me about why I wasn’t called up, but I didn’t really understand his reasoning. I respect his choices.”

Aquilani Predicts Fight Between Lazio And Inter Milan

Former AC Milan midfielder Alberto Aquilani believes Lazio and Inter Milan will tussle it out for the fourth position in the Serie A standings. The Italian duo have been neck-to-neck with their performances in the backend of the campaign, and Aquilani feels the final Champions League spot could be decided between the two.

In an interview covered by Gazzetta dello Sport, Aquilani appeared to dismiss AC Milan’s chances of reaching the top-four by saying: “I think Di Francesco will secure Champions League for Roma, while fourth place will be played for until the end between Lazio and Inter.”

Las Palmas Interested in Bringing Back Jese Rodriguez

Las Palmas have confirmed that the club will be doing everything in order to sign Jese Rodriguez in the January transfer window. The former Real Madrid forward spent half of the campaign on loan at Las Palmas, who happen to be his hometown club on loan from Paris St Germain. However, he did the switch to Stoke City in the summer in another loan deal. This loan move, however, has not been working out great for the forward. Stoke have been struggling for form throughout the campaign and Rodriguez has featured in only nine appearances for the team. In these games, Rodriguez has scored only one goal.

As a result, he is thought to be unhappy in England and would like a return to Spanish football in order to rediscover his form. Meanwhile, Las Palmas are looking to take advantage of this situation by making a move for the player. Manager Paco Jemez claims that he has approached the club president in order to sign the player. Surprisingly, goalscoring has not been one of the issues for Las Palmas, as summer signing Loic Remy has been influential when it comes to finding the back of the net. He has also been assisted well enough by Jonathan Calleri, who also has a couple of goals. Jemez, though, says that Jese Rodriguez will set an example in the team on all fronts.

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