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Raiola denies Italy rift between 'rookies and senators'

The agent of AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli denies there was a rift inside Italy's failed World Cup squad.

Raiola also denied reports of a split in the Azzurri camp between 'senators' and younger players, particularly Gigi Buffon and Daniele De Rossi.

"I saw a squad that was sluggish in terms of fitness levels, then we discovered the team just wasn't there. Did you see the Dutch side today, how they fought to the end and turned it around against Mexico? Italy were not united or sharp.

"During the World Cup I spoke to Mario and Ignazio Abate, but they didn't say anything about problems or unhappiness between the ranks. The defeat hurt the group, but I don't believe it was split during the competition.

"Buffon and De Rossi? Their comments were not talking about Balotelli. His teammates didn't put the blame on Mario, but the rest of the country did."

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