Friday November 11 2011
Marchisio: "SuperMario has changed"

Claudio Marchisio claims Mario Balotelli “has changed” in Manchester and reveals the striker’s superstitious side.

“It is an important victory, as none of the big teams have won here recently,” said the midfielder of Italy’s 2-0 win in Poland.

“We were a bit too deep in the first half, but changed the system to 4-3-3 after the break and immediately did better.

“We ought to be more clinical, but with two goals and a clean sheet thanks to Gigi Buffon saving the penalty, it is a good night.”

Marchisio won back possession to set up the goal for Balotelli, a wonderful curling right-foot strike from distance.

“The Coach wants us midfielders to immediately pressure our opponents and set up the strikers straight away.”

Balotelli and Giampaolo Pazzini were both on target, but this is the first Italy match since Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi were ruled out for six months.

“Cassano and Rossi are completely different players. Giampaolo really helps us out when losing possession, while Mario was very dangerous when running at the defence,” continued the Juventus midfielder.

“Mario was a little anxious beforehand, as he always sits next to me at dinner. His chair was moved and he got paranoid, but I reassured him he’d score anyway and it didn’t bring bad luck. He’s very superstitious!

“I can see Mario is more mature and has changed with his recent excellent form for Manchester City. He is playing regularly and scoring in the Premier League, so it has really helped him.”