Mario Balotelli: Missing out on Italy squad was the right choice

Mario Balotelli: Missing out on Italy squad was the right choice

Nice's Italian forward Mario Balotelli (C) celebrates his team's victory at the end of the French L1 football match OGC Nice (OGCN) vs Olympique de Marseille (OM) on September 11, 2016 at the "Allianz Riviera" stadium in Nice, southeastern France. / AFP / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

The ever-controversial Mario Balotelli believes not being selected in Italy’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers was the right decision for both himself and the national team.

Balotelli was rumoured to be close to being called up by coach Giampiero Ventura, having made a strong start to the French Ligue 1 season with five goals in three appearances.

Despite missing out this time around, the striker says he is hoping to return to the national setup sooner rather than later.

“I’ve missed it for some time, but it’s been deserved,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“I hope to return in blue very soon, but only at my best. To me, it’s better to have skipped this match. I want to be at my best for the upcoming games.”

The 26-year-old says he is enjoying his time with Nice and is once again finding football enjoyable.

“The city where I am now is beautiful,” he added.

“The environmental aspect played a role in my decision, having recently lived in Liverpool and Milan.

“The team, however, are very young. We’re almost all the same age, this is the football that I like.

“I have no more dreams in football, only targets. The ranking of the teams where I have felt good? Nice, Manchester City and… that’s it.”

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