Under fire Liverpool attacker Mario Balotelli wins rare praise from Antonio Nocerino

Mario Balotelli Italy

Liverpool loanee Mario Balotelli tipped for Azzurri return despite poor form.

Former AC Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino has backed Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli to work his way back into the Italian national side.

Nocerino played alongside Balotelli at Euro 2012, and for AC Milan during the forward's initial spell with the club.

Balotelli is currently on loan at Milan for the season but has disappointed, making only four Serie A starts plus 12 appearances from the bench, scoring only one goal.

He has lost his place in the Italian national team and that is not considered likely to change for Euro 2016, despite the fact he led the line for the Azzurri at the 2014 World Cup.

Nocerino, currently playing for MLS side Orlando City, told Tuttomercatoweb that he believes the Liverpool owned striker can get back to his best, and says he should still be considered for the Euros.

He said: "For me it is not zero, it not closed, his chances for the European Championship with the Italian national team.

"I love Mario since he arrived at Milan and made ​​the difference to win the third place in 2013, he has technical means out of the ordinary and is a good guy."

Balotelli is the ultimate wildcard for Italy boss Antonio Conte to throw in, and perhaps it could be considered they need a shake up after a recent 4-1 friendly thrashing by Germany, but the trouble is Balotelli may do the team more harm than good by being a distraction.


Balotelli's AC Milan spell could have been thrown a lifeline by the club changing their manager earlier today.

Sinisa Mihajlovic was fired and replaced by Cristian Brocchi, and if he decides to select the striker between now and the end of the campaign and can get the best out of him, Milan may be more willing to sign him permanently and take him off Liverpool's hands.

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