AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani believes that Italy would be facing Brazil in the Confederations Cup final instead of Spain had Mario Balotelli been fit to play.
The striker was ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury at the end of the group stage having helped the Azzurri reach the last four with two goals in three games.
Cesare Prandelli's men subsequently drew 0-0 with the world and European champions before going out on penalties and Galliani believes Balotelli's ability at spot kicks could have seen the side into the final.
He told Sky Sport on Saturday: "With Mario we certainly would’ve scored one more penalty in the shoot-out, so at this stage we could’ve been in the final.
"I spoke to Mario and he is feeling better after treatment, as confirmed by the medical staff. In a few more days he can go on vacation."
Balotelli's Rossoneri and Azzurri attacking teammate Stephan El Shaarawy has been linked with Fiorentina as part of a swap deal for Adem Ljajic or Stevan Jovetic following a second half to the season which was far less impressive than the former.
Regarding the rumors, Galliani added: "I will see El Shaarawy on Tuesday."
Italy faces Uruguay on Sunday in the Confederations Cup third-place playoff.
- Sports & Recreation
- Adriano Galliani
- Cesare Prandelli