Italy news

Prandelli relishing Balotelli link-up

June 29, 2012
By ESPN staff

Mario Balotelli netted twice to fire Italy to the Euro 2012 final

Italy manager Cesare Prandelli is enjoying the challenge of coaching Mario Balotelli at Euro 2012.

There had been doubts before the tournament about whether Balotelli - previously dropped by Prandelli due to his disciplinary record on and off the pitch - would make the final squad.

But the Manchester City forward repaid Prandelli's faith in him on Thursday night, scoring both goals for Italy as they beat Germany 2-1 to reach the final of the European Championship.

Prandelli said of the 21-year-old: "I have coached Adriano, (Adrian) Mutu, (Antonio) Cassano and Balotelli. They are difficult to manage but it's more fascinating.

"In the end, they are more faithful than those (players) who think they are a champions when they aren't. They are players that have quality and make you win."

"He has enormous potential," Prandelli continued. "He has a good (club) coach in (Manchester City manager Roberto) Mancini, who will help him grow."