Balotelli hoping for ‘special’ victory
Mario Balotelli will aim to round off the perfect year by firing Italy to Euro 2012 glory in Kiev on Sunday.
The charismatic striker has already played a significant role in securing Manchester City’s first league title in 44 years, setting up the last-gasp goal for Sergio Aguero against QPR that snatched the trophy from Manchester United’s grasp.
Now he is having the same impact for Italy.
Balotelli’s semi-final double against Germany in Warsaw not only confirmed Italy’s place in the final against Spain, it has also taken him into the group on three goals currently leading the Golden Boot standings, and he is the only one of them who can add to his tally.
Little wonder the 21-year-old took the rare step of stopping to speak immediately after the game.
And his words seemed to underline the surprising maturity he has shown throughout the competition, a volte-face from moody Mario to magnificent Mario.
“We won the league at Manchester City so having a good season for me doesn’t depend on winning the Euros,” he said.
“If we don’t win it, it wouldn’t spoil the other things but it would be special.”