Mario Balotelli

Andrea Pirlo: I warned Balotelli about “silly booking”

RIO DE JANEIRO (Sporting Alert) — Mario Balotelli claimed that no one told him about the yellow card rules at the Confederations Cup, but his Italian teammate Andrea Pirlo says it’s not so.

The forward was booked for lifting his shirt after scoring the winner against Mexico in their Group A contest on Sunday, which means that another yellow card would see him getting banned for one game.

The AC Milan forward says he wasn’t aware of such a rule, claiming that “nobody told me” about this.

Asked about the rule immediately after the game he said: “Really? Nobody told me.”

However, Pirlo, who himself was on target in the game with a brilliant free-kick, congratulate Balotelli on his goal, but said he warned the former Manchester City striker about picking up silly cards – adding that he personally told him about the rules.

“I want to congratulate him for his goal, but also give him a little smack,” Pirlo said. “I did tell him before the game.

“I specifically told him not to get a silly booking because, with two, you’re out. What are you going to do?”

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli was also disappointed with Balotelli’s decision to pick up a needless yellow card.

“Mario needs to stop showing off his muscles,” Prandelli said. “With celebrations like that, he’s only going to pick up pointless yellow cards.”

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