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Mario Balotelli wants to be 'role model' with Italy

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini says he preferred Mario Balotelli's performance in a 3-1 defeat to France over his display against Saudi Arabia.
Mario Balotelli scored his first goal for Italy since netting the winner against England at the 2014 World Cup.

TURIN, Italy -- As far as Mario Balotelli is concerned, he doesn't have to be Italy's captain to be a role model.

"I'm here to score goals. You can also be a role model without wearing the armband," Balotelli said at a news conference on Sunday, a day before Italy's friendly against the Netherlands.

Earlier this week when Balotelli played for Italy for the first time in four years, a banner that read, "My captain is of Italian blood," was draped on a pitch-side wall during a 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia...

 By Ben Gladwell

Mario Balotelli praised for standing up to racism during Italy match

Mario Balotelli netted the opener in his first match for Italy in 1,434 days as Gli Azzurri held on for a 2-1 win in Switzerland.
Mario Balotelli scored his first goal for Italy since netting the winner against England at the 2014 World Cup.

Anti-discrimination group FARE has praised Mario Balotelli for his reaction to a racist banner displayed during Italy's 2-1 friendly win over Saudi Arabia on Monday.

The banner, which said: "My captain is of Italian blood," was displayed after suggestions that Balotelli would be given the armband should Leonardo Bonucci be substituted with the Nice forward still on the pitch.

In an Instagram story, Balotelli wrote: "It's 2018 guys, wake up!" and FARE responded by tweeting: "Well done to Mario Balotelli,...

 By Ben Gladwell

Mario Balotelli will be a 'bargain' signing for Napoli - Mino Raiola

Mario Balotelli netted the opener in his first match for Italy in 1,434 days as Gli Azzurri held on for a 2-1 win in Switzerland.
Mario Balotelli scored his first goal for Italy since netting the winner against England at the 2014 World Cup.

Mario Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola says Napoli would be getting a "bargain" by signing the striker from Nice this summer

Balotelli, who is out of contract at the end of June and appears set to return to Serie A, marked his return to the Italy national team with a goal in the 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia on Monday night, and Raiola believes he has now won over his doubters and is ready to prove himself on the biggest stage once again.

"Anybody with a big, ambitious project in their minds would, today,...