Prandelli: Balotelli must learn to accept defeat

The Azzurri coach believes that the loss in the Euro 2012 final will help the Manchester City striker grow as a footballer, while also praising the team's overall performance
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has said that Mario Balotelli must learn to accept defeat after his side succumbed to a 4-0 loss at the hands of Spain in the Euro 2012 final.

The Manchester City forward stormed down the tunnel at the end of the match, revealing his unhappiness at the nature of the defeat, although he did return to collect his runners-up medal at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.

The 21-year-old refused to speak with reporters as the team left the stadium, and Prandelli has said the experience will only make him stronger.

"There are times when you have to hold your hands up and accept defeat," he told reporters. "Sometimes you must say your opponent was better than you.

"I told Mario that these are experiences you have to deal with and have to accept.

"But you also have to make sure this helps you going forward and you can grow from the experience. This has happened to a number of players, and will happen again, but this is what sport is all about.

"We've had a terrific European Championship and the only regret is the fact we didn't have a few extra days to rest up before this game," Prandelli concluded.