AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi slammed Italy teammate Mario Balotelli after they were dumped out of the World Cup by Uruguay.

De Rossi spoke to La Repubblica after Italy's World Cup elimination, sealed by a 1-0 defeat to Uruguay.

"There were certainly components that affected the result, like the heat or the refereeing, but we must not cling to these things," said De Rossi.

"We must forget about all this quickly. Actually, I take that back: we should remember well what went wrong and begin again with real men.

"We need real men, not Panini stickers or characters. These are of no use to the Nazionale."

De Rossi was sure to be referring to AC Milan striker Balotelli, who posted on Twitter a picture of the Italy Panini album with his sticker in every slot.

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