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How was Italy achievement at Euro 2012
Displaying items by tag: Balotelli

Coach Cesare Prandelli has recalled Mario Balotelli, Alberto Gilardino, Stephan El Shaarawy, Andrea Ranocchia, Antonio Candreva and Domenico Criscito to his squad for Italy's upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

The Euro 2012 finalists travel to Armenia on October 12 before entertaining Denmark at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium on Tuesday October 16.

Balotelli will make his return after missing Italy's first round of qualifiers due to eye surgery while Milan's El Shaarawy has been rewarded for his fine form of late.

Zenit's Criscito is also back in the fold since being excluded on the eve of Euro 2012 while World Cup winner Gilardino is also included after two years out as is Candreva who has not appeared for La Nazionale in three years.

Goalkeepers: G Buffon (Juventus), S Sirigu (PSG), M De Sanctis (Napoli), E Viviano (Fiorentina)
Defenders: I Abate (Milan), F Balzaretti (Roma), A Barzagli (Juventus), L Bonucci (Juventus), G Chiellini (Juventus), A Ranocchia (Inter), A Ogbonna (Torino), D Criscito (Zenit)
Midfielders: A Candreva (Lazio), D De Rossi (Roma), A Diamanti (Bologna), E Giaccherini (Juventus), C Marchisio (Juventus), M Verratti (PSG), A Pirlo (Juventus), R Montolivo (Milan)
Forwards: A Gilardino (Bologna), M Balotelli (Man City), M Destro (Roma), S Giovinco (Juventus), P Osvaldo (Roma), S El Shaarawy (Milan)


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Mario Balotelli will miss Wednesday game against three lions due an eye infection.

Super Mario had a very good tournament in Euro 2012, that with his 2 wonder goals against Germany in semi finals Cesare Prandelli's men reached final.

Udinese forward Diego Fabbrini, who scored just twice in Serie A last season called to replace injured forward.

Italy beats England in penalty shoot-out in quarter finals of Euro 2012.

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Italy International and Manchester City attacker Mario Balotelli has confessed that he would have liked to be a competitor in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) had he not become a footballer.

The Italy international has seen his fair share of controversies as well as yellow and red cards in the past few seasons due to his fiery temperament, and he has confessed that he is a fan of mixed martial arts.

"If I wasn't a footballer, I probably would've wanted to be a UFC fighter. I really love it," the flamboyant attacker stated at an Umbro event.

The 21-year-old then went on to explain why he is wearing the No.45 jersey at City.

"My first game in Serie A, it was under [Roberto] Mancini, I also had No.45, because the younger players had numbers between 35 and 60. I got No.45 and scored two goals, so it became my lucky number."

Balotelli recently returned from his break after starring for Italy at Euro 2012 where he netted three goals, helping his country to the final of the tournament.


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Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has declared that team-mate Mario Balotelli has improved as a player under coach Cesare Prandelli.

The Manchester City striker turned in an impressive display in Italy's 2-1 victory against Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-finals, scoring two goals to move to the top of the competition's scoring charts.

Prior to the tournament, Balotelli's antics on and off the pitch almost saw him left out of the squad, but Buffon is happy that the 21-year-old is finally showing signs of improvement.

"Mario has been playing very well because before he had all these great qualities, and that is always a good start," Buffon told reporters at a press conference.

"He is also part of a fantastic group of players, and he found a great coach like ours, who has made him a better player.

"But obviously the main merit on his improvement is on himself because he has worked hard to reach this level."

The Azzurri's opponents in Sunday's final, Spain, could have sealed Italy's exit before the knockout stages had they drawn 2-2 with Croatia in their final Group C match.

And Buffon praised La Roja's honesty and quality, adding: "I wanted to pay my respect to Spain because they were honest and did not draw against Croatia to eliminate us.

"Spain's best player? They have so many good players that it is very difficult to state my preference for one.

"It would be a lack of respect to a collective that has dominated the world's football scene in the last 4-6 years. I respect all of them, cannot just say one."

When questioned about Italy's chances, the Juventus goalkeeper acknowledged that Spain are favourites following their recent successes.

"I am very happy that Spain are extremely motivated to play a final after winning a World Cup and Euro 2008," he stated.

"They know now how it is to win and will have a small advantage because of that."

Earlier in the tournament, Buffon cast doubt over Italy's chances of vicotry, but the 34-year-old thinks that his side have improved with each game.

"I said that we would not win the Euros if we kept on playing like we did against Croatia, because we were not able to reflect our superiority in matches," he explained.

"This has obviously changed, but we still have to wait for tomorrow to see if we are good enough to win the tournament."

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Mario Balotelli said the 2-1 win against Germany was "one of the best nights of my life", but he is hoping it only remains so for another 72 hours as he sets his sights on Spain.

Mario Balotelli was left reflecting on "one of the best nights of my life" after taking his UEFA EURO 2012 tally to three with both Italy's goals in their 2-1 victory over Germany. Yet with the final whistle almost still audible, he and centre-backs Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli were already setting their sights on Spain in Sunday's final.

Mario Balotelli, Italy forward
A great performance but we suffered a little bit in the end. It could have been prevented, but that's how it goes. The most important thing is the result and that we won. The first goal was from great cross from Antonio [Cassano], while the second came from a fantastic pass by [Riccardo] Montolivo and, well, I shot and scored! There's always been aggressiveness, always the desire to score; maybe I was just missing a bit of luck.

We don't have to fear [Spain] and their ball possession. We have already scored against them, we are as strong as them if not more so. This is one of the best nights of my life but I hope it will be even better against Spain. Spain have another way of playing compared to Germany, but we know our strengths and we are able to play against anyone.

Giorgio Chiellini, Italy defender
It was a great match against a great team. We were really convinced we could play well and win. We've studied Germany's great qualities, but we were convinced we could make it hard for them and we were very good in front of goal, and battling together until the 95th minute. In the end, the margin in terms of the final result was pretty small.

Obviously, I was not in top physical condition. I was a little tired, but I put in my share and I was able to be useful for my team as a physical presence on the pitch. Now we need to improve, because on Sunday we need to be even better. Every team has its strengths and weaknesses. We've already faced Spain and we played well. We know they are the favourites to win this tournament, but looking at [how well] we did today, we feel we can beat them.

Andrea Barzagli, Italy defender
We've played an extraordinary game against a very strong side and we deserved to win. We led 2-0 and had opportunities to score a third. Then, well, we suffered a bit during the last two to three minutes, because they're strong; but we should get the credit we deserve. We could have avoided a nervy conclusion to the game but in the end the most important thing is that we won.

Our defence is always well organised. It doesn't matter if someone is absent, because there is [always] someone else who can play; someone who knows what to do, who knows how to put in a great effort. We're a squad full of important players, every one of us. Balotelli did well, but this a team victory; because after all [a team effort] brings out the [quality of an] individual player and he proved to be a strong player. Well, not only him, but the whole team.


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Friday, 29 June 2012 00:55

Balotelli sends Italy past Germany

Mario Balotelli struck twice as Italy once again proved Germany's nemesis, Cesare Prandelli's side holding on in Warsaw to set up a final against Spain.

Italy once again proved to be Germany's nemesis after Mario Balotelli struck two first-half goals to set up a UEFA EURO 2012 final against Spain on Sunday.

Joachim Löw's side came into the semi-final full of confidence having swept all before them in Poland and Ukraine, but perhaps lingering at the back of their minds was the fact that Germany had never beaten the Azzurri in seven competitive meetings. That tally is now eight after Italy produced a wonderfully measured performance with Balotelli at the its heart.

Cesare Prandelli's side neutralised Germany's dynamic approach, and found their No9 in clinical form. The striker headed his side in front midway through the opening period and doubled the advantage nine minutes before half-time. Germany threw everything at their opponents after the restart, but their breakthrough came too late, Mesut Özil converting an added-time penalty that only offered fleeting hope.

Prandelli has describe his side as a work in progress but, after surviving a nervous opening, they were soon looking like the finished article. In the early stages, only Andrea Pirlo's torso stopped Mats Hummels giving Germany the lead, and then Andrea Barzagli watched helplessly as Gianluigi Buffon's parry ricocheted off him and just past the post. Italy soon found their stride, though.

The busy Riccardo Montolivo forced Manuel Neuer to stretch, before Antonio Cassano had the goalkeeper going the other way. Özil and Toni Kroos, on his first start of the tournament, tested Buffon again, but the Azzurri were looking the more dangerous side. In the 20th minute, they made it count. Pirlo, ever the instigator, swung the ball out to left-back Giorgio Chiellini who fed Cassano. The No10 tricked Hummels and delivered an inviting cross. With the door was wide open Balotelli merely needed to put his head on it as it flashed past Neuer. It was Italy's first UEFA European Championship semi-final goal in their fourth appearance.

Germany reacted as expected for a team who had won a world record 15 straight competitive games. Özil made Buffon work, and Federico Balzaretti just cleared Jérôme Boateng's dangerous centre. Prandelli has urged his team to resist sitting on a lead on all tournament, and the second duly came – although it was a classic Azzurri counterattack.

Buffon had just made a flying save from Sami Khedira, and batted away the resulting corner which Montolivo picked up. The new AC Milan recruit looked for Balotelli straight away, his ball over the top evading Philipp Lahm, and the striker sped away to rifle a shot into the top corner for a finish every bit as emphatic as his first.

Löw had proved in his starting XI he was not scared to tinker with his personnel, and made changes at half-time, Marco Reus and Miroslav Klose coming on. Reus's first involvement was a effort on goal and then Lahm could only lift his shot over when well placed. Özil got to the byline, but Khedira got in a tangle.

Buffon's fingertips just did enough to send a Reus free-kick on to the bar and away to safety, yet Balotelli was still a menace at the other end and Claudio Marchisio nearly made it three on two occasions. As German belief ebbed away, Antonio Di Natale had a clean run on goal only to fire wide.

Balzaretti handled in his own area with time running out and Özil finally beat Buffon, but it merely offered forlorn hope. Löw's side may have been the tournament's great entertainers, but it is Italy who are in Sunday's final after once again being Germany's bogey team.


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Italy finish the first half 2-0.
Goals scored on 20` and 36` by  super Mario Balotelli.

Let's have a great second half...

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Italy and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli was spurred onto glory against England by a unlikely tribute before the game in Kiev.
An artist in his homeland ploughed a field to show show the back of the strikers head.
Dario Gambarini has used tractors to similar effect to create images of Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela among others in the past opted to create Balotelli ahead of the big game.

The 2,700 square metre piece was created in Castagnaro, near the artist’s native Verona.
Rather than show Balotelli’s face, however, Gambarini broke with tradition to portray the Manchester City striker’s trademark Mohawk haircut, with the word ‘Italia’ visible at the top of his shirt.

'I wanted to pay homage to all the Azzuri,’ Gambarini said. ‘But it seemed ideal to reproduce the blonde Mohawk of Balotelli on a field of threshed wheat.'
Balotelli scored the first penalty in Italy's 4-2 shoot-out win over England on Sunday night.

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Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti believes Mario Balotelli could make the difference for Italy in their Euro 2012 quarter-final against England on Sunday.

Ancelotti feels it's an advantage for the Manchester City attacker that he knows the Three Lions’ defenders very well, and has the edge on them when it comes to pace.
John Terry and Joleon Lescott are expected to continue their partnership at the heart of England’s defence in Kiev, with the latter a domestic team-mate of Balotelli.

"Italy need Balotelli right now. He can be a crucial player for Italy and help the team to the European title this summer," Ancelotti was quoted as saying by A Bola.

"Balotelli know the English defence very well. Lescott is his colleague at Manchester City. That could be a psychological advantage for him.

"Plus, he's faster than Lescott and John Terry put together."

Balotelli was dropped from the starting line-up, with Antonio Di Natale preferred to partner Antonio Cassano, as Italy dispatched Republic of Ireland 2-0.

However, the youngster made the headlines as he netted a stunning second to confirm the three points and secure their qualification to the quarter-final stage.


Published in News
Friday, 22 June 2012 15:11

Mancini Warns Balotelli To Behave

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has pleaded with enigmatic striker Mario Balotelli not to cause problems for Italy coach Cesare Prandelli.

The hot-headed forward is hoping to start for the Azzurri when they take on England in Sunday’s Euro 2012 quarter-final, after coming off the bench to score against Republic of Ireland on Monday in the last Group C fixture.

Mancini believes the 21-year-old is Italy’s best striker, and thinks he should be in the first XI against Roy Hodgson’s side, but has warned him to do as he is told by his national team coach.

“I suggest he plays as he knows, and not to be a pain in the a*** for the coach,” he told The Sun. “He has to play, as no one else can give England the same problem.

“Prandelli is doing terrific work but he has to rely on Mario. He is too important, you could not leave him on the bench.”

Italy qualified from Group C behind reigning champions Spain, setting up Sunday’s showdown with the Three Lions, and Mancini believes Balotelli has the star quality that could see the Azzurri go all the way.

“Mario is a champion and champions help you win,” he added.

“Italy are stronger if Balotelli plays. Look at the other evening [against Ireland]. He came on, gave a spark to the game and scored a splendid goal.

“I consider Mario to be the best Italian attacker. Cassano is second, Di Natale is good but he has different characteristics with respect to Balotelli.”

England's showdown against Italy kicks off at 20:45CET Sunday and the winner will take on either Germany or Greece in the semi-final.


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