Fabregas wary of blossoming Balotelli
‘Italy dangerous in every area of the pitch’
Cesc Fabregas says that Spain will need to pay special attention to Mario Balotelli if they are to get the better of Italy in tomorrow’s Euro 2012 final in Kiev.
Balotelli produced the finest performance of his blossoming international career on Thursday by claiming an excellent brace to give Italy a 2-1 win over Germany in their semi-final match in Warsaw.
The 21-year-old Manchester City striker now finds himself in contention to win the tournament’s Golden Boot and Fabregas says that his performance against Germany proved he is coming of age at international level.
“Balotelli is a great player,” the Barcelona midfielder said yesterday.
“He showed that by scoring two superb goals in a semi-final against a very strong team like Germany. He’ll be a threat, just like (Antonio) Cassano and the other strikers.”
Asked to assess Italy’s key strengths, Fabregas said that Cesare Prandelli’s side possessed dangerous players in every area of the pitch.
“They have a very competitive team,” he said.
“They are very experienced at the back and up front, and they have players who had excellent seasons for teams like Juventus and Milan.
“Italy’s defenders are very experienced, and they know when to attack and when to defend.
“On top of that they have a goalkeeper who’s a natural leader, but Spain have a great goalkeeper as well in Iker Casillas.
“They also have a lot of variety up front. They have strong players like Balotelli, tricky players like Cassano, and in midfield they have special players like (Claudio) Marchisio and (Andrea) Pirlo, who’s had a great tournament.
“It will be a tough game and the winners will be deserving champions. I think we’ve been the two most consistent teams at the tournament.”
Victory for Spain tomorrow would make them the first team to successfully defend the European title and the first side to win three consecutive major international tournaments.