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Football: Balotelli ruled out of Confed Cup semi-final

Striker Mario Balotelli has been ruled out of Italy's Confederations Cup semi-final against Spain with a thigh injury, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced on Sunday. The 22-year-old AC Milan striker, who has two goals to his name at the tournament of continental champions in Brazil, had been expected to lead Italy's attack against Spain in Fortaleza on Thursday. "The examinations carried out this afternoon (Sunday) in Fortaleza on Mario Balotelli showed a grade-one tear in the quadriceps muscle of the left leg," the FIGC said in a statement.

Football: Italy not leaving Brazil, says Prandelli

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli on Friday dismissed rumours that his players have asked to pull out of the Confederations Cup in Brazil due to the huge protests that have swept the country. An estimated 1.25 million people took to the streets in scores of cities on Thursday evening to call for better public services and to criticise the cost of organising the Confederations Cup and next year's World Cup.

Football: With Mario, expect the unexpected - Prandelli

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli warned Confederations Cup rivals Japan - as well as his own side - to expect the unexpected from striker Mario Balotelli in Thursday's showdown in Recife. Balotelli netted a poacher's winner in Sunday's win over Olympic champions Mexico yet infuriated his coach by earning a booking for ripping his shirt off.

Football: Italy coach blasts 'silly' match-winner Balotelli

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli tore a strip off tearaway striker Mario Balotelli despite the controversial star grabbing the winner in the 2-1 Confederations Cup victory over Mexico at the Maracana. Balotelli sealed the win 12 minutes from time with a fine, muscular finish, but Prandelli was furious after the Milan striker was booked for stripping off his shirt in celebration.

Football: Balotelli, landmark Pirlo give Italy winning start

A goal 12 minutes from time from an effervescent Mario Balotelli sealed a 2-1 win for Italy over Mexico in Rio's Maracana stadium on Sunday in their Confederations Cup Group A opener. Balotelli struck from close range on 78 minutes to give Italy a precious win as they joined Brazil on three points following the hosts' 3-0 win over Japan in Brasilia on Saturday.

Football: Balotelli, landmark Pirlo give Italy winning start

A goal 12 minutes from time from an effervescent Mario Balotelli sealed a 2-1 win for Italy over Mexico in Rio's Maracana stadium on Sunday in their Confederations Cup Group A opener. Balotelli struck from close range on 78 minutes to give Italy a precious win as they joined Brazil on three points following the hosts' 3-0 win over Japan in Brasilia on Saturday.

Football: Balotelli doubtful for Italy opener

Striker Mario Balotelli is a doubt for Italy's Confederations Cup opener against Mexico on Sunday after a thigh injury cut short his training session, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced on Friday. The AC Milan striker, 22, complained of pain behind his right thigh as coach Cesare Prandelli put his side through their paces at the Joao Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. "During training this afternoon at Havelange stadium, Azzurri striker Mario Balotelli felt a pain in his right biceps femoris...," the FIGC said in a statement to journalists.

Balotelli misses Juve clash despite having ban reduced

By Terry Daley ROME (Reuters) - AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli will miss Sunday's top of the table clash at Juventus despite having his three-match suspension cut to two games. "The Federal Court of Justice has partially upheld an appeal by Milan and reduces the matches Mario Balotelli is banned for by three to two games, adding a fine of 20,000 euros (17,163 pounds) in exchange for the third match," the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said on its website (www.figc.it) on Friday.

Football: Balotelli suspended for three games - league

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has been suspended for three matches by the Italian league's disciplinary committee on Tuesday after insulting an assistant referee. The Italy international was given a one-match ban after picking up a fourth yellow card of the season in last Sunday's 2-2 draw against Fiorentina. He was banned for a further two games after insulting a linesman at the end of the match, the league said in a statement. Balotelli turned on the official who was watching the forward having an animated discussion with Fiorentina goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano.

Balotelli banned for three matches after insulting official

TURIN, Italy (Reuters) - Maverick forward Mario Balotelli was given a three-match ban on Tuesday for insulting the fourth official at the end of AC Milan's 2-2 draw at Fiorentina at the weekend. Balotelli was due to face an automatic one-match suspension for accumulating four yellow cards when he was needlessly booked for failing to retreat at a free kick.
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