Toto Schillaci believes that ‘despite little international experience’, Ciro Immobile can ‘impress everyone’ with Italy at the World Cup.
The new Borussia Dortmund man heads out to Brazil as Serie A Capocannoniere and in form with the Azzurri, having netted a hat-trick in their final warm-up fixture with Fluminense at the weekend.
His is a situation that has earned comparisons with that of Schillaci, who emerged from nowhere to become Italy’s leading striker at Italia ’90, and for the 49-year-old, those comparisons are fair.
“There are the prerequisites for Immobile to be Prandelli’s secret card,” Schillaci has commented to the Corriere dello Sport today.
“He has played and scored a lot this season, he is in excellent shape and has great enthusiasm just as I did in 1990.
“He is fast, sees the goal like few others, but in particular, does not have the spotlight on him.
“Could he start in place of Balotelli? There are few in the team with a guaranteed starting place, such as Pirlo and Buffon.
“Balotelli is a great talent but must understand that he cannot make mistakes either inside or outside the field.
“Immobile and Balotelli could form a partnership, Balo as centre-forward and Ciro a little behind.
“Immobile must stay grounded and not get excited, but he can impress everyone, even though he has little international experience.
“[Immobile’s Coach at Pescara Zdenek] Zeman deserves a lot of credit because with him players grow both physically and tactically.”