Sunday November 13 2011
Father proud of Balotelli

Mario Balotelli’s father is bursting with pride now that his son has become an Italy sensation. “He played for the team this time.”

The Manchester City striker scored his first Azzurri goal in the 2-0 win against Poland and provided an assist for Giampaolo Pazzini.

“Mario phoned me straight after the game and his first question is always: ‘How did I play, Dad?’ I replied: ‘This time I give you eight out of 10. Not for the goal, but because you played for the team. Well done.’”

Franco Balotelli spoke to the Gazzetta dello Sport about raising the latest sensation in Italian and Premier League football, who’ll play against Uruguay at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday.

“Mario is urging me and my wife to come and see him in Rome. I am 82 years old, so journeys are difficult for me, but I promised to visit him soon in Manchester. He’s earned it.”

Coach Cesare Prandelli hailed Balotelli this week, stating he has finally reached a level of maturity.

“They just needed to find the right key to bring out what is within him,” added adoptive father Franco.

The Italy squad had a night off in Rome on Saturday and local lad Daniele De Rossi chose the restaurant, taking almost the entire team with him to the Taverna Trilussa.

Among those dining out were Balotelli, Alberto Aquilani, Riccardo Montolivo, Andrea Pirlo, Simone Pepe, Morgan De Sanctis, Angelo Ogbonna and Giampaolo Pazzini.