Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon calls for OGC Nice striker Mario Balotelli's return
Posted: 27 February 2018 Time: 13:00
Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon has called for OGC Nice striker Mario Balotelli to return to the national team squad after a four-year absence.
Balotelli, 27, has resurrected his career over the past two seasons at the Allianz Riviera after a dismal spell in the Premier League with Liverpool.
His 21 goals in 29 appearances across all competitions for the Ligue 1 outfit this season has seen calls for the eccentric forward's Azzurri exile to come to an end.
And Buffon feels he is the right type of character to help the European giants rebuild after missing out on the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 60 years.
"I'd be happy if Mario returned to Italy," Buffon told Tiki Taka. "He'd have the chance to prove that he has 100 percent matured and that he has what we saw as a lad or an unfinished player - i.e the ability to be a champion, to show that consistently.
"I've seen few - maybe only [Francesco] Totti who have that power and accuracy of shooting, there's truly no equal."