Sunday July 1 2012
Altobelli hails Balotelli

Alessandro ‘Spillo’ Altobelli believes Mario Balotelli can make the difference against Spain. “He could be as strong as Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.”

The 1982 World Cup winning striker gave his verdict on tonight’s Euro 2012 Final in Kiev.

“When you get to the end of a tournament, I am convinced teams have the same chances of winning,” he told

“I can see the Azzurri are improving compared to the start of the competition, while Spain are somewhat flagging.

“Having seen the way Italy and above all Spain have been playing recently, I firmly believe the Azzurri will win.

“Italy must play the same football they’ve had so far, trying to play the game and maintain possession with diagonal passes for Antonio Cassano and Balotelli.”

Italian media have pointed out the Altobelli is an anagram of Balotelli, as both scored against Germany.

“I have known Balotelli since he was a child and played for Lumezzane, in the province of Brescia. I always saw he had great talent. He is extraordinary and if he matures a little then he has the qualities to be as strong as Messi or Ronaldo. Spain know that too.

“When people talk about Balotelli, they say he could be a problem for the locker-room atmosphere. Instead, it looks like the only trouble he caused was for the opposition defences.”

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