Picture Credit: Golders/@mb459
Former Liverpool and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has hinted he could reject a future call-up to the Italy squad because he has been insulted too much.
The Marseille striker posted a heartfelt message on social media after missing out on his country’s squad for their Euro 202 qualifiers in which he claimed the criticism he receives affects him as he is “not a robot”.
He wrote: “It could never happen ( a return to the Italy squad) but one day they could need me and I’ll be ready, as happened in the last three years; but after all the insults, being denigrated and underrated year after year, I can get tired emotionally and could even reject going.
“I’m not a robot or an idiot, a lot of the time I don’t respond to avoid problems and unnecessary tension, but I hear and everything that is said. It’s something that accumulates and I’m getting fed up of it.”
He added: “I’m just asking to be respected as much as I respect the national team and everything will be fine. I don’t expect to be considered a phenomenon but I assure you the best can only be brought out of me with respect. I haven’t done anything to be despised.”
Balotelli, 28, has scored five goals in 18 appearances for Marseille this season and has netted 14 goals in 36 appearances for Italy.
He has struggled to make Italy’s squads in recent years and was not included in their squad for Euro 2016 or for their failed World Cup qualifying campaign.