Sunday June 24 2012
Lescott: 'I usually beat Mario'

Joleon Lescott is confident he can get the better of Mario Balotelli tonight, just as he does in training for Manchester City.

“This is England versus Italy in the quarter-final of a major tournament and it will need a combined effort from the whole team for us to be successful,” he told The Sun.

“I realise a lot is going to be made out of me and Mario because we both play together at City.

“And obviously me and Mario have had a few good battles in training. Normally I come out on top, but there again you don’t win any prizes in training.

“So now it’s all about being professional and going about our business. It’s a serious matter.”

Lescott is in the same boat as Balotelli when it comes to trophies this season.

“It would be absolutely amazing to do a double of winning the Premier League and then the European Championships.

“But I’m not looking that far ahead. It’s Italy next. Only if we get to the final can you start dreaming of winning it.

“It was the same at Man City. We didn’t think about winning the league until we went into the last game against QPR.

“It has been great, a real honour for me, especially playing in a tournament like this but there’s still a long way to go.

“It was a massive bonus winning the group and it will definitely crank up the expectations now. But I think the belief has always been there in this squad, in this team.

“Look at the players we have got and the things they have won in their individual careers. I don’t think they’ve got low expectations of themselves. I think they are confident of doing well for the nation.

"Me? I just love playing and all the stuff that goes around it — to be involved in this and to hear the excitement that is building back home is just great.”

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