Mario Balotelli: Italy’s ‘Best Striker’ Wants a Return to the National Team at Age 33 Ahead of Euros

Mario Balotelli: Italy’s ‘Best Striker’ Wants a Return to the National Team at Age 33 Ahead of Euros

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at November 23, 2023 at 7:36 AM
In this article:
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FIFA World Cup
  • Mario Balotelli has given himself the moniker of Italy's 'strongest' striker
  • The ex-Manchester City striker is bidding for a return to his national team
  • Currently with Adana Demirspor, Balotelli last represented Italy in 2018

Mario Balotelli is advocating for his return to the Italian national team, boldly declaring himself as the country's top striker in anticipation of Euro 2024.

It's been over five years since he last donned the Azzurri jersey, being absent from the team since their 1-1 Nations League draw against Poland in 2018.

Mario Balotelli, Italy, Azzurri, strongest, best, striker
Mario Balotelli starred at Euro 2012, leaving the tournament with one of the most iconic goal celebrations after his strike against Germany. Photos by Joern Pollex
Source: Getty Images

With 36 caps and 14 goals to his name, 'Super Mario' has been a journeyman, having stints at Nice, Marseille, Brescia, Monza, and Sion. He is currently in his second spell with Turkish outfit, Adana Demirspor.

Since joining the Super Lig club in September, Balotelli has hit the ground running, netting three goals in five games and boasting an impressive scoring rate of one goal per 61 minutes, per Transfermarkt.

Following Italy's qualification for the upcoming tournament under the new guidance of coach, Luciano Spalletti, the striker is eager to remind the selectors of his potential contribution.

Balotelli aims for Italy call-up

Confident in his abilities at 33 years old, 'Super Mario' is actively vying for a return to the national squad under Spalletti's leadership.

"If I’m well, I still consider myself the strongest," he said to TVPlay, as quoted by GOAL.

In expressing his ambition, the former Manchester City and Liverpool forward subtly critiqued the current Italian attackers, highlighting their meagre two shots on target in the crucial Euro 2024 Qualifier against Ukraine.

"Did [Giacomo] Raspadori and [Gianluca] Scamacca play [against Ukraine]? How many shots did they take combined? Two? "

He was quick to bid for an unlikely national team recall ahead of next summer's European Championship.

"I want to recover and play for the national team. I always hope for the call. I met Spalletti and I’ve met him several times. We made some jokes when we met in a friendly with Napoli, but I have no relationship [with him]."

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Balotelli opens up on joining PSG

Earlier, Sports Brief reported on Balotelli discussing possibly joining Paris Saint-Germain, despite previously playing for their rivals, Olympique Marseille, during his diverse career.

When asked about joining the Parisians if they showed interest, the striker expressed an appreciation for the rivalry he witnessed during Le Classique clashes from his time in France.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.