STRIKER MARIO BALOTELLI believes he was treated unfairly in being left out of the Italy squad for their friendly against the United States.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli left the Manchester City frontman out of the squad for the February 29 match, which the USA won 1-0, because of concerns about the 21-year-old’s mental state.
Balotelli was charged with violent conduct after he appeared to “stamp” on Scott Parker during an English Premier League match against Tottenham in January.
The former Inter Milan ace has been sent off three times since arriving at Etihad Stadium in August 2010, and Prandelli has revealed he is considering leaving the temperamental striker out of his Euro 2012 squad.
“I felt so bad about it,” Balotelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
I often say in the dressing room, ‘Barcelona? Real (Madrid)? For me, there is no shirt more fascinating than that of Italy, because of the feeling which is to represent the national team’.
I often think about the European Championships. I was sad to have lost the friendly in Genoa. There is an ethics code that which I respect, but I think I did not deserve this.
Balotelli said he never wanted to hurt Parker and added the fact Manchester City did not appeal against his four-game ban does not mean the Premier League leaders do not back up his story.
“If you watch it in slow motion, it appears that I hit him on purpose, but that is not the case,” Balotelli said.
“Perhaps I did not even touch him. No-one protested. I do not kick people who are on the ground. The referee said he did not see it, but he was just a metre away and he saw everything.”
If City had appealed, I would have played the match against Liverpool, but then I would be banned for five matches, if we had lost the appeal.
That is why City did not appeal, not because (coach Roberto) Mancini does not believe in me.