Balotelli resumes Brescia training

Mario Balotelli has resumed Brescia training after controversially walking out of yesterday’s session.

Brescia boss Fabio Grosso told Balotelli to leave training on Thursday, having reportedly grown frustrated with the striker’s attitude.

However, the 29-year-old today worked with his teammates at the club’s complex as normal and then met Cellino for around 10 minutes, before returning to training.

It’s unknown at this stage if there will be any repercussions for the ex-Milan and Inter hitman over his actions.

Balotelli is trying to win a place in Roberto Mancini’s Italy squad for Euro 2020, with his former mentor telling him he has until the end of the season to earn one.

He he scored twice in seven appearances for the newly-promoted Rondinelle this term.

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Totti: ‘Lippi like no other’

Francesco Totti reveals how he had “a rapport with Marcello Lippi that I never had with any other coach” but warns Nicolo Zaniolo must be left alone.

The pair only worked together for two years in the Italy set-up, but the Roma icon admits the former Juventus boss left a lasting impact on him.

Totti suffered a broken leg before the 2006 World Cup but was nonetheless part of Lippi’s squad that won the tournament.

“My memories of him are all positive, as well as meeting a great coach I met a spectacular man, a father,” he told Radio Radio.

“After the injury, he said some things to me to get my head right, and something clicked into gear.

“The words he said to me at Coverciano… there was a rapport there with him that I never had with any other coach. It went beyond football.

Both men had different club allegiances, so how did they put them aside for the Azzurri?

“Simple, we were in the national team and we only thought about that. Club sides were not thought of.

“The solidarity was our strength, and the only goal was to bring Italy as far as possible.

“The desire we showed brought us to the top of the world. In the end we were a single club; an Italian one.”

Zaniolo has been mentioned as a potential successor to Totti in the Eternal City, so should he inherit the No 10 jersey?

“I, for the sake of Zaniolo, would stop the comparisons. If he continues like this, and I hope he does, he will deserve all that football will give him.

“We have to let him grow. He understands the Roman mentality and I hope he stays in Rome for a long time.”

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Totti: ‘No Roma return’

Francesco Totti has confirmed that he would not return to Roma if they wanted him back. “When I decide to go down a path, I finish it.” 

Totti left in controversial circumstances over the summer, holding a press conference in which he took aim at the running of the club and President James Pallotta.

Speaking to Radio Radio, the 43-year-old admitted he would not entertain a second spell with Roma in their current guise.

“I am quite touchy. When I decide to go down a path, I finish it. If now [Roma] asked me to return, it would put me in great difficulty.

“But I would say ‘no’ because I respect the decision I took and I want to continue down this path.

“I want to follow players and transmit my experience to them.”

There was confirmation this week that the Giallorossi are in talks with potential American investors…

“I don’t know if this American will arrive. I have my doubts because when someone gets their hands on Roma, it’s hard to move forward and I should know.

“However, I hope that for all the fans of Roma, whoever arrives as President is able to win everything with this team, the Scudetto and the Champions League.”

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Pellegrini ‘calm’ about Roma renewal

Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini says he is “very calm” about negotiating a new contract and is willing to discuss the removal of his €30m release clause.

Pellegrini been out with a broken toe for two months, missing the international break with Italy, but could make his Roma comeback against Brescia on Sunday.

“I worked hard to get fit as quickly as possible,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I even managed to come back earlier. It was very tough to stay out.”

Now, the 23-year-old is ready to fight for a place in the Champions League with the Giallorossi.

“We want to be there, and we will do everything to do so. It’s our main objective.”

Pellegrini’s €30m release clause has left the Lupi vulnerable to losing their newest ‘bandiere’, but he confirmed that a new deal was on the horizon.

“We haven’t talked about it yet, but I am very calm,” he added. “The only thing that matters is that I’m feeling good. When the time comes, we will sit down.

“We will also talk about removing the clause in the contract…”

Finally, the ex-Sassuolo man praised Alessandro Florenzi for his professionalism, despite the Roma captain losing his place in the starting XI.

“Ale has been living this moment as a champion. He never complained and has always put the team first.”

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Zaniolo ‘very happy’ at Roma

Italy starlet Nicolo Zaniolo says he is “very happy” at Roma and hopes “this is my year”, winning both the Europa League and Euro 2020.

Zaniolo has gone from strength-to-strength this season, scoring five goals for Roma and bagging a brace during Italy’s 9-1 thrashing of Armenia.

“We have what it takes to have our say at the Euros,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“I owe so much to Mancini because he called me when no-one hadn’t known me yet.

“Now I have to repay his faith on the pitch, like I am doing. Scoring twice for Italy is another dream of mine that’s come true. It’s not an end point.

“I hope to score many more goals for Italy and Roma. The only thing I’d change is if I could play my cards better at the U21 Euros over the summer. It’s a regret of mine.

“I have to make people understand that this is my year. I’m not a bad guy, I’m just a guy who made a mistake.

“The minimum objective this season is to improve day by day. We want to win every game. The objective is qualifying for the Champions League.

“I’m very happy, Roma have given me so much confidence, now I’ll repay it on the pitch. I’m proud to represent these fans, I feel very good here.

“The things Fonseca has to say, he says to your face. He’s a very direct person and he’s helping me improve.”

Finally, the 20-year-old was asked whether he would prefer silverware for club or country.

“Win the Euros with Italy after winning the Europa League with Roma!”

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