Thursday June 28 2012
Balotelli: 'Best night of my life'

Mario Balotelli joked about his posed goal celebration. “This was the greatest night of my life, but I hope Sunday will be better.”

The Manchester City hitman bagged a sensational brace in the 2-1 semi-final victory over Germany.

“At the end of the game when I went to my mother, that was the best moment. I told her these goals were for her,” he said.

“I waited a long time for this moment, especially as my mother is not young anymore and can’t travel far, so I had to make her happy when she came all the way here. My father will be in Kiev for the Final too.

“Before the game there were my mother, my brothers, my sister-in-law and my best friend all by the touchline. Having my nearest and dearest there obviously fired me up. What music do I listen to before the game? Drake. He’s a friend of mine.”

With this brace, Balotelli took his Euro 2012 tally to three goals and is the joint top scorer, but also the only one still in the tournament.

“I will try to win the top scorer award. In football sometimes you can try so many times and it doesn’t go in, or try few and it does all the time.

“It was a fantastic assist, the kind only Antonio Cassano can provide, while Riccardo Montolivo’s pass was great too. I celebrated? I said I would.”

The celebration for the second goal saw him whip off his jersey and show off muscles, earning a yellow card.

“They didn’t get angry because I was booked for taking my shirt off, but they saw my physique and got jealous!” he joked.

“Both goals were important and helped to win the game, so I will remember them both the same way.”

Balotelli went off in the second half to make way for Antonio Di Natale after going down with cramp.

“I had cramp and was a little tired, but I told the Coach to wait five minutes and by that point the substitution was already in progress. It’s fine.

“Would I return to Italy to play? Not right now, as I am in England and will stay there for the moment. The Manchester City fans still love me, even if we knocked England out.”

Italy now face Spain in the Final on Sunday in Kiev, a repeat of the 1-1 draw that opened their tournament.

“This was the most wonderful night of my life so far, but I hope Sunday is even better,” continued Balotelli.

“I hope to win, I don’t care if I play badly as long as we give our all. We have to relax, mustn’t get frustrated with Spain’s possession and keep playing our football.

“Don’t forget we are the only side to have scored against Spain so far. We proved that we are equal to them, if not more, and we want to win.”