Warsaw: Italy coach Cesare Prandelli lauded his striker Mario Balotelli as “excellent” and “unique” after his two goals put Italy in the Euro 2012 final with a 2-1 win over Germany.
The 21-year-old Manchester City man showcased his precocious talent with two brute-force strikes in the first half to send his team through.
“Ballotelli was excellent, just like the whole team,” Prandelli said.
“I believe that a team should have an idea and Balotelli really corresponded to this idea. He had a great performance.”
But the player infamous for a questionable temperament showed exemplary discipline when he needed to, Prandelli said.
“Balotelli was in the game, he did exactly what I asked him to do,” the coach said.
“When it comes to Balotelli, I think he is unique. He is strong physically, he can work for the team, but he is also on time, when he is required in the penalty area.”
Italy missed a glut of chances on the counter-attack as Germany pressed forward in search of the equaliser and left holes at the back.
Prandelli insisted “we really deserved a third goal”, but acknowledged his side had nothing left in the final minutes.
“Had they levelled the score, we would have lost 5-2 because we were really exhausted.”
The Italians have just two days’ rest before Sunday’s final against Spain in Kiev.
Keywords: Latest Football News