Posted June 09, 2012 on AP on Fox
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It's time for Mario Balotelli to get serious. The wild-headed Manchester City forward is about to make his first start for Italy in a major tournament and the expectations couldn't be higher. No other player in Italy's team has the combination of talent and physical prowess that Balotelli possesses, and that could be just what the Azzurri need in their European Championship opener against Spain on Sunday. As Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon puts it, ''there's nothing to discuss about Mario in terms of football, because he's a pure talent - one of the few players who can make you win matches.'' But coach Cesare Prandelli says Balotelli needs to improve his teamwork, adding that ''could be the key to success'' for him.
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