Italy forward Simone Zaza has stressed that he does not see Mario Balotelli as a threat to his place in the national team.
Zaza made his Italy debut in Antonio Conte’s first match in charge, a 2-0 friendly win against Netherlands in September, and the Sassuolo man then netted against Norway in Italy’s opening Euro 2016 qualifier.
His partnership with Ciro Immobile has looked exciting and at the moment, the pair are keeping Balotelli out of the team and squad.
However, Zaza does not view the Liverpool man as a rival and said he would like to get know the striker.
“I don’t consider him a danger,” Zaza told reporters.
“As I’ve always said, Mario Balotelli is one of my favourite strikers around. I think that everyone knows about his qualities and what he can bring to any squad.
“I think that Mario could be a part of any national team and I don’t think he would cast a shadow on me. I never had the chance to know him personally – I’d cherish such an opportunity, absolutely.”
Zaza’s next chance to impress for Italy will come in the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Malta.