£8.5m Sunderland star Giaccherini criticises Liverpool summer signing Balotelli

Mario Balotelli Italy

Italy international is not surprised at Mario Balotelli's international omission.

Sunderland midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini has said Mario Balotelli needs to show more hunger if he is to salvage his international career.

The Black Cats star is not in the Italy squad himself due to injury, and made he comments during an interview with TMW.

Asked about his view on why the £16 million Liverpool star has not been selected by Antonio Conte, he did not hesitate to respond.

He said: "The coach wants players who sacrifice themselves. Who love not the individual but the collective.

"He appreciates the spirit of those who work hard every day to gain an advantage.

"Mario is a great player, but should have hunger for a little more."

It's highly unusual to see a player criticise or call out an aspect of a teammate's play or attitude which needs improving, publicly, but that's the sort of attention Balotelli garners.

He is already under pressure at new side Liverpool, dropped by Brendan Rodgers against West Brom and told to improve.

If he can do it for the Reds, then there is no reason to believe he will not win back his international place.

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