OGC Nice striker Mario Balotelli reflected on his disappointing omission from the recent Italy squad and claimed his children have matured him away from a playboy lifestyle.
Balotelli, 27, is widely considered as one of Italy’s most naturally gifted talents but has often been in the centre of controversy due to his personal life.
“I’m more mature, thanks to my children,” he told FourFourTwo. “I’m 27 years old. The time for girls is over.”
However, with 14 goals in 19 starts in Ligue 1 this season, the former Manchester City striker was tipped for a recall to the Azzurri under interim-coach Luigi di Biagio.
His agent Mino Raiola claimed it meant the caretaker coach is clearly not fit to lead the European nation but Balotelli has since reflected on the decision, as AC Milan youngster Patrick Cutrone was preferred.
“I was hoping for it,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I thought I deserved it.” – kickoff.com