Stephan El Shaarawy is relishing his partnership with Mario Balotelli and believes they can lead the attack for Italy and AC Milan for many years to come.
El Shaarawy, 20, and Balotelli, 22, have become symbols of Italy coach Cesare Prandelli's focus on youth.
''Mario and I represent a new and young Italy,'' El Shaarawy said, ahead of Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Malta. ''Investing in youth is the most important thing. We're doing well, but we still have margin for improvement to make Italy even stronger.
''I believe it is a turning point for Italian football. There are so many talented Italian footballers in the under-21 side and in Serie B and that gives us good hope for the future.''
El Shaarawy has burst into the spotlight this season with 16 goals in Serie A.
The goals have dried up for the youngster recently, and he has scored only once since Balotelli's arrival from Manchester City at the end of January.