Mario Balotelli held a rare Press conference, insisting he “doesn’t have to prove anything to the English, Italians or anyone else.”
It’s reported that the Manchester City striker asked to be part of the Press conference leading up to Sunday’s England-Italy quarter-final.
“Will I make you angry or entertained? I guess it depends. Like my teammates, I intend to give my all in this game, then I can’t control if you get angry or entertained…”
Was his first response to a question from the Italian media. The striker broke his duck with a sensational volley against Ireland, but did not celebrate. He was asked about the theory there are two Mario Balotellis.
“Mario, the person, doesn’t have to prove anything to the English, Italians or anyone else. The goal was important, above all as I wanted it and had not been able to find it in previous matches.
“I don’t think I was blocked in any way, it was just that I wasn’t finding the back of the net.
“Would I celebrate if I scored against England? First I’ll score, then we’ll see.”
Manchester City teammate Joe Hart also said there are two Balotellis – one who can win a game and the other who could get sent off at any minute.
“He’s fortunate that he knows two of me!” grinned SuperMario.
“I hope it’s going to be a good match and I think it’s going to be fun playing against my teammates. They know me and I know them. What I expect is to win, because I always want to win.
“My friends are all those who play with me, like Milner, Hart and Barry. The one I fear the most… nobody.
“I didn’t talk with my teammates or say anything about England.”
Balotelli was asked whether he is a Peter Pan or, like Daniele De Rossi said, becoming a man?
“These are two metaphors for Mario as a person, not as a player. I think I’m a man, but then I don’t even need to say it. Peter Pan is funny and I guess I can be, as in some of my behaviour I’m quite free, but I certainly feel more of a man than a Peter Pan.”
The former Inter star struggled to make an impact in the first two group games.
“Criticism follows me around everywhere. It’s normal that in 50-60-90 minutes you will make mistakes, so criticism helps you to improve.
“The shirt of the Nazionale has always moved me, ever since I was a kid, and that’s normal. In the first games I was excited and it was my first Euros, but I was confident and the only setback was that I didn’t score.
“I was not angry, nor did I have problems within the squad or in my life. Some of your colleagues spoke rubbish about me, but I was fine and the only problem was not scoring a goal.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!