Galliani: Balotelli would have put Italy in final

The AC Milan chief thinks that his star striker could have fired the Azzurri into a Confederations Cup showdown with Brazil and reveals talks with Stephan El Shaarawy
AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani believes that Italy would be facing Brazil in the Confederations Cup final instead of Spain had Mario Balotelli been fit to play.

The striker was ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury at the end of the group stage, having helped the Azzurri to reach the last four with two goals in three games.

11/1 Italy are 11/1 with BetVictor to beat Uruguay 1-0 in the third-place play-off
Cesare Prandelli's men subsequently drew 0-0 with the world and European champions before going out on penalties and Galliani argues that Balotelli's ability at spot kicks could have seen the side into the final.

He told Sky Sport on Saturday: "With Mario we certainly would've scored one more penalty in the shootout so, at this stage, we could've been in the final.

"I spoke to Mario and he is feeling better after treatment, as confirmed by the medical staff. In a few more days he can go on vacation."

Balotelli's Rossoneri and Azzurri attacking team-mate Stephan El Shaarawy has been linked with Fiorentina as part of a potential swap deal for Adem Ljajic or Stevan Jovetic following a second half to the season which was far less impressive than the former.

Regarding the rumours, Galliani added: "I will see El Shaarawy on Tuesday."

Italy face Uruguay on Sunday in the Confederations Cup third-place play-off.