Updated: Friday, 13th September 2019 @ 2:25pm

Eye'll see you back in Manchester: Conjunctivitis rules City's Mario Balotelli out of England tie but not Fifa 2013

Eye'll see you back in Manchester: Conjunctivitis rules City's Mario Balotelli out of England tie but not Fifa 2013

By Dean Wilkins

Manchester City hero Mario Balotelli is out of the friendly tie between England and Italy this Wednesday and will have to wait until he can see properly before rejoining his club teammates for the new Premier League season.

The 22-year-old striker – who was Italy’s shining star in Euro 2012, scoring a superb brace to take them to the final – is suffering from conjunctivitis and will not travel to Switzerland to face Roy Hodgson’s side.

And no Juventus and Napoli players have been chosen by Cesare Prandelli as the Supercoppa tie takes place in Beijing and the Italy manager revealed Balotelli is in line for a crucial role within the team's future.

"We were hoping (Balotelli) would recover in time, but it wasn't to be," Prandelli said.

"I want to give him a key role in the long term and I expect him to accept responsibility when I do."

Balotelli will not get a chance to face his teammates Joleon Lescott – called in to replace the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Adam Johnson, James Milner or new-boy Jack Rodwell.

On Saturday City boss Roberto Mancini confirmed that the club have had to reject a number of offers from big clubs for the enigmatic forward – something that impressed the Italian.

"There were four or five teams. Not just from Italy also from France," said Mancini.

"Many important teams wanted him but he's a top player and I never thought about saying yes to any of them.

"I hope he develops and he had a fantastic Euros but I don't think he can change his behaviour because he played very well.

"It can help him because he may understand that he has all this quality, it's important for him to improve his behaviour around football.”

Prandelli – whose side lost 4-0 to Spain in the Euro 2012 final – has opted to bring in eight uncapped players to give regulars a chance to relax ahead of the new season.

But Balotelli can take pleasure in knowing his 'hulk' celebration following a wonder goal against Germany in the semi-final made the cut for FIFA 2013.


DO THE BALO: City striker shines for Italy in Euro 2012 competition

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