Sunday June 15 2014
De Rossi: 'Balotelli could triple goals'

Daniele De Rossi warned Mario Balotelli “he’d score triple the goals if he made the right movements.”

SuperMario was on target for the 2-1 victory over England last night and saw another opportunity cleared off the line by Phil Jagielka.

“It’s not a bad start, is it?” grinned Roma midfielder De Rossi to journalists.

“Balotelli is a player with great quality and his goal was scored with the movement of a real hitman.

“He has the quality of the greatest strikers, but sometimes doesn’t move the way they do. This is a problem for him, as he’d score triple the goals if he made the right movements.

“Mario is starting to understand that now, as his teammates and the Coach help him. You can see he is beginning to mature tactically.

“In my view if Balotelli learned to run into space and stretch out the team, he’d become unstoppable, because physically there are no defenders who can hold him.”

De Rossi has played alongside and against some legends, but admits Steven Gerrard is one of his favourites.

“It is never normal for me to play against Gerrard. It always gets me emotional, I won’t deny it. Of course, on the field you’ve got to get stuck in there, but it is always a pleasure and an honour. He’s also a very nice guy, always very approachable.

“I cheered on Liverpool until the end, but they lost the Premier League title in an incredible way. Players like Gerrard, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Xavi or Iniesta never go past the apex of their careers.”