Gianluigi Buffon has urged Italy CT Roberto Mancini to recall Mario Balotelli. “He’s great for the national team.”


Balotelli has regained his knack for scoring goals at Marseille, netting eight times in 14 appearances for Olympique Marseille since arriving from Nice in January, although doubts remain over his character.

“Mario’s doing well at Marseille, he’s shown sincerity and maturity,” Buffon, who plays for Marseille’s rivals Paris Saint-Germain, told ‘E poi c’e Cattelan’.

“He’s also great for the national team. It’s said that the French League is not that tough.

“Maybe it’s not too evolved tactically, but it’s at the top in terms of technique and physicality.

“PSG aside, teams like Lille and Lyon would finish top five in Serie A.”

The former Juventus and Italy goalkeeper then touched on more intimate topics, including his love for Subbuteo, the 2006 World Cup – and even recreational drugs.

“When I retire, I’ll take care of my Subbuteo hobby,” confessed the 41-year-old.

“Once at school, I smoked a cigarette… let’s say it was, customised. That was the one and only time.

“The 2006 World Cup reminds me of Gattuso, who was tormenting Pirlo’s head with his knuckles. Perhaps that’s why Andrea speaks slowly!”

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