Posted June 18, 2013 on AP on Fox
PLAYERS: Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli is so unpredictable that even his coach has trouble keeping tabs on the prized Italy striker. Balotelli's winning goal in the Azzurri's 2-1 win over Mexico at the Confederations Cup was a prime example. The goal showed off Balotelli's combination of brute strength and sheer athleticism. But the AC Milan striker immediately took away some of the moment's luster by stripping off his shirt, earning a yellow card. If Balotelli picks up another yellow in Wednesday's match against Japan, he'll have to sit out the Group A finale against host Brazil. ''Talking about Mario is always tough because you never know what he's going to do from one moment to the next,'' Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said Tuesday. Balotelli's unpredictability could be related to the immense pressure he plays under. Born to Ghanaian immigrants and raised by Italian foster parents, he is forced to deal with racist chanting in virtually every match in ...

After Euro, Balotelli confirms worth in Brazil

If last year's European Championship was the moment Mario Balotelli revealed himself to a global audience, this year's Confederations Cup is shaping up as confirmation that he is a force to be reckoned with on the international stage. And if Italy appeared hesitant at times to heap too much pressure on Balotelli in Poland and Ukraine, that's no longer an issue. The...

Mario Balotelli Gives Drake Soccer Shout Out, Dedicates Game-Winning Goal to Rapper-Friend

Mario Balotelli is back on top, but can you guess where he started? On Sunday, Balotelli scored the game-winning goal in Italy’s 2-1 victory over Mexico. He was so excited about the 78th-minute strike that he went on Twitter and dedicated the goal to one of his friends: Drake. this gol is for my bro @Drake !!! STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM NOW WE HERE!!— Mario balotelli (@FinallyMario...

Mexico vs. Italy: How Did El Tri Fare? | mexico vs italy

Mexico vs Italy Analysis: Mexico’s first game in the 2013 Confederations Cup has resulted in a loss against a strong Italian side. Mario Balotelli’s goal in the second half was enough to sink Mexico’s hopes of making another comeback ... Read More

Drury fits the bill for Crawley

Italy go into their second game of Group A against Japan on Wednesday knowing that a win will all but see them qualify for the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. Mario Balotelli's drive and and a stunning free-kick from Andrea Pirlo - who was making his 100th appearance for the Azzurri - was enough to see off Mexico in their opening game. Japan - who recently qualified...

New-look Italy makes strong statement

The ageless Andrea Pirlo led Italy past Mexico at the Maracana Stadium 2-1 on Sunday, courtesy of a winner from Mario Balotelli. It was a complete, comprehensive performance from the 34-year-old superstar, who collected his 100th cap and a goal to round out a superb afternoon. It was also, for nearly seventy minutes, the best match played yet in this young Confederations Cup and...

Italy rallies to beat Japan 4-3 at Confed Cup

Italy rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Japan 4-3 Wednesday, earning a spot in the Confederations Cup semifinals. First-half substitute Sebastian Giovinco scored the winner in the 86th minute of an entertaining match at the Arena Pernambuco, pounding home a cross from Claudio Marchisio. After a dismal start for the Azzurri that saw Japan score twice in the opening 33 minutes...
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