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Giancarlo Abete believes Balotelli will bounce back from wasteful error

Giancarlo Abete believes Balotelli will bounce back from wasteful error

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The Calcio chief insists that the Manchester City striker should not allow himself to be disheartened after failing to find the net against La Roja

Italy Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete believes Mario Balotelli will bounce back from his disappointing performance against Spain.

Balotelli was picked to start against for the Azzurri's Euro 2012 opener on Sunday, but the Manchester City striker failed to make an impact during the 1-1 draw.

The striker was substituted just before the hour mark after dallying on the ball when one-on-one with La Roja goalkeeper Iker Casillas, allowing Sergio Ramos to recover.

To make matters worse, his replacement, Antonio Di Natale, broke the deadlock just minutes after coming on.

Abete, however, was pleased with the 21-year old's contribution despite failing to find the net.

"Balotelli made his contribution, but he must try to understand the reality of playing in a major international competition in which there is no forgiveness," Abete told Italian radio station Radio Anch'io Sport.

"He nevertheless put the Spanish defense under pressure. Balotelli will not allow himself to be disheartened."

Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli claimed that the striker's hesitancy was not the reason behind the substitution, claiming that the choice had already been made.

"I had already decided to bring on Di Natale before the error, so it was not a punishment," Prandelli said. "I don't know what happened to Mario when he was alone in front of their goalkeeper.

"He probably had two options and in these cases a striker should only have one. He should have passed it to [Antonio] Cassano."

Italy face group leaders Croatia in its next group game on Thursday, which kicks off at 12:00 p.m. ET. 

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