Friday March 22 2013
Prandelli: Balotelli a champion

Mario Balotelli could become one of the world’s best players, Italy boss Cesare Prandelli said after the 2-2 draw with Brazil.

The Milan man was dangerous throughout the Geneva friendly and he netted the crucial equaliser with a splendid strike.

“Balotelli had chances and he did well with his goal,” Prandelli noted. “His first thought is always that of the team and this is the attitude of a champion.

“He has great potential and can become one of the best five players in the world. He just needs to find some consistency.”

The tie in Switzerland looked to be over at half-time with Italy two goals down, but the Azzurri reacted well after switching from a 4-3-1-2 to a 4-3-3.

“The game looked like it was over after we conceded two goals within 30 minutes, instead, we reacted well and showed some interesting things.

“The 4-3-3 gives you width and creates one on one situations, but these things need to be tested,” he warned.

“We played a great game, one of the best since I’ve been in charge. But the most important thing now is to focus on Tuesday because there are three important points at stake against Malta.”

Prandelli praised debut boys Alessio Cerci and Mattia De Sciglio, as well as Juventus utility player Emanuele Giaccherini who started the game.

“Cerci and De Sciglio are youngsters with personality and technical qualities,” the CT continued. “Giaccherini was our best player in the first half.”

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