Dutch star Wesley Sneijder wanted to face Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli
Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder is disappointed that he won't face former Inter Milan team-mate Mario Balotelli
Wesley Sneijder says it is better for the Netherlands that Mario Balotelli is not part of Italy’s squad for their friendly on Thursday night.
Italy manager Antonio Conte, who replaced Cesare Prandelli after a disappointing World Cup campaign this summer, omitted the Liverpool striker from his first Azzurri squad.
I’m saddened though, as I haven’t seen him in a while. I would have happily greeted him
The former Inter Milan forward signed a long-term deal with the Reds last month after the 18-time English champions agreed a £16m deal with AC Milan for the controversial striker.
Galatasaray and Netherlands midfielder Sneijder, who won the treble with Balotelli at Inter in 2010, is disappointed that he won’t get to line up against his former team-mate.
“It’s better for us that he isn’t playing as he would have perhaps scored past us,” Sneijder told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I’m saddened though, as I haven’t seen him in a while. I would have happily greeted him. Mario is a nice mad guy, he was like that when we were together at Inter.”
Balotelli scored against England in the World Cup, but was criticised for his performances against Costa Rica and Uruguay.