Mario Balotelli, the Italian striker has already written off England’s chances of winning the World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
In the opening game of the tournament Italy face England on June 14 in Manaus, Brazil. Mario Balotelli, the one of the most controversials has already begun to fan the flames ahead of the match by questioning the big-tournament mentality of England’s footballers.
” I don’t look at England as a team that can win the World Cup. They have some good players, but they are no real rivals for Italy.”
The former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli will be aiming to damage England’s chances to march through a perilous group consisting Uruguay and Costa Rica. Mario Balotelli was notoriously famous for his erratic off-field antics during three years in England. In 2010, he joined Manchester city from Inter Milan for £24 million. Balotolli proved himself in the City scoring 30 goals in 49 appearances and helping them win the Barclays premier League, FA Cup and Community shield.
On 29 January 2013, Balotelli moved to AC Milan signing a four-and-a-half year deal which is worth of €20 million.
Mario Balotelli made his first appearance for Italy on 10 August 2010 in a friendly match against Ivory Coast. One year later, Balotelli found the net making his first international goal. So far he scored 12 goals in 29 caps for Italy. Certainly Balotelli’s holding the power –torch of attack for Italy in this World Cup.
Mario Balotelli was on the Italian expectation to Euro 2012 and played a leading role in the tournament. Right from the opening group stage he contributed to the Italy’s qualification for the final stages with a magnificent overhead shot against Ireland in the last minute.
In the semi final against Germany Mario Balotelli scored two fantastic goals and his extraordinary performance placed him in the hearts of all Italian fans.
The 23-year-old striker is confident that Italy will kick off their World Cup campaign with a victory over England.
‘In the opening game we have to respect England because it is important to get off to a good start,’
‘They have maybe two or three players who can hurt us, but we feel well prepared for the tournament and expect to start off with a win.’
The two teams, Italy and England met each other in the World Cup five times. With 3 wins Italy will be the favourite one, while England has 1 win and 1 match remained a draw.