Following a four-year hiatus from the squad, Roberto Mancini has recalled Mario Balotelli to the Italian national team for a special training camp.
The pair, who have previously won league titles together in Italy and England, will look to replicate that form as they look to lead the Azzurri to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Balotelli's recall to the national team set-up comes in the wake of a lack of firepower up front for the Italians after star winger Federico Chiesa was ruled out for the rest of the season due to an ACL injury.
While his selection might be surprising to some, the man known as "Super Mario" has 14 goals in 36 appearances for Italy. That is one goal fewer than current frontman and Lazio star Ciro Immobile, who has 15 goals in 54 appearances for the reigning European champions.
Balotelli has been somewhat of a journeyman of late but looks to have found some form at his current club Adana Demirspor in Turkey. He has registered nine goals and five assists in 21 appearances across all competitions this season, according to Transfermarkt.
Mancini is said to be desperate for the enigmatic forward to find form for the national team with the World Cup qualifier play-offs on the horizon, and having missed the 2018 edition, the Italian faithful will hope the team will have enough about them to beat North Macedonia and potentially Turkey or Portugal to qualify for the global showpiece.
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