Milan striker wishes his team-mates well ahead of Spain clash.
Italy striker Mario Balotelli revealed his frustration after injury ensured his Confederations Cup participation was over.
After picking up a strained thigh muscle during the 4-2 defeat to Brazil on Saturday, the AC Milan striker has been sent home by the Italian medical team as he will be unable to play against Spain in the semi-finals on Thursday.
It comes as a huge blow for both the player and the Azzurri, with the 22-year-old scoring two goals in the group stages and looked a constant threat as he played a lone role up front for Cesare Prandelli.
His absence will make the task of defeating the European and World champions even more difficult, but with Champions League qualifiers to come with his club, he understands it is the right decision.
“I feel like a loser leaving this way. I would have liked to stay but there’s the Champions League preliminary round so I’ve got to take care of myself,” he told reporters as quoted by the Guardian.
“Anyhow my team-mates will do well even without me,” he concluded.
Prandelli has numerous selection headaches ahead of the game on Thursday, with Balotelli’s team-mate Ignazio Abate also sent home after suffering a dislocated shoulder.
In addition, Riccardo Montolivo was replaced during the same game with a head injury, while Andrea Pirlo will hope to have recovered from a muscle strain which forced him to miss the clash with the Brazilians.
However, team physician Enrico Castellacci is confident the duo will be fit enough in time to take their place in the starting line-up, but admitted that he acted in the best interests for Balotelli in sending the star home.
“We just used good sense.” Castellacci said while also confirming that Milan’s medical staff will take over treatment.
“I checked out Balotelli this morning and, considering his condition, I don’t think he will be able to recuperate before the final. It’s not worth taking more risks.”
Italy are expected to make tactical changes for their meeting with Vincente Del Bosque’s men, possibly reverting to a 3-5-2 formation with Alberto Gilardino stepping in to lead the line.