Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini thinks Mario Balotelli won the battle of the strikers with Wayne Rooney in Italy’s penalty shootout win over England at Euro 2012, did Balotelli really outshine Rooney ?
Euro 2012 News / NationalTurk – England were eliminated in Euro 2012 on penalties, after the quarter-final game England vs Italy ended goalless. Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has few words for Wayne Rooney after England ‘s exit from Euro 2012 at the hands of Italy.
While the performance of Wayne Rooney and his selection to England startin XI by England manager Roy Hodgson started being criticised after Rooney offered little by way of an attacking threat, Mario Balotelli was a constant menace for England defense and with some sharper finishing would have got himself on the scoresheet.
Mario Balotelli’s rakishness in front of England goal, particularly when delaying his shot and allowing John Terry to make a saving tackle, was highlighted but Mancini chose to focus on his striker’s all-round contribution. However the Manchester City boss has backed his talented yet troubled striker despite him missing a host of chances before Italy’s eventual penalty win over England.
Mario Balotelli outshone Wayne Rooney, claims City coach Mancini
Roberto Mancini spoke to Corriere dello Sport on Italy vs England game and on performances Wayne Rooney and Mario Balotelli : ‘ I think perhaps many are underestimating Balotelli ‘s performance on the pitch ‘ . ‘ He was at the heart of the game, had five or six chances, and was a bit unlucky not to score.’
Mancini ‘s comments on Rooney vs Balotelli comparison will draw a lot of ire from many perpectives : Mancini continues ” If we compare Balotelli to Rooney, who we only noticed when it came to penalties, Mario did much better. Balotteli is a great striker who must be supported all the way.”
Italy were deserved winners and Roberto Mancini felt they were on a different level to England. Wayne Rooney was a peripheral figure as Roy Hodgson’s side struggled to contain Italy in Sunday’s quarter-final in Kiev, and Cesare Prandelli’s outfit eventually prevailed on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
The Premier League-trophy wiining Italian manager went on to praise the play of Cesare Prandelli’s side, who controlled much of the Italy vs England clash and is clearly thrilled that Italy is on their way to a semi-final meeting with favourites Germany.
“The Azzurri dominated almost the entire England Italy match,” Mancini says. ‘ In the second half and in extra time, Italy crushed England. They took my breath away as I waited for the killer goal. That it did not come was only down to tiny details. Beyond Balotelli I saw a great Italy.” the City manager added.
Mancini taking a dig at Hodgson ?
‘ Cesare Prandelli was not shy in making changes and they paid very well in the end while Hodgson thought only to defend himself and had no effect. When [Antonio] Nocerino and [Alessandro] Diamanti came on, they gave a great boost.’
Prandelli ‘s decision not to let Antonio di Natale substitute for Cassano clearly doesn’t bother Mancini at all. When your National team is on the winning side it must be easy to overlook some errors, Mr Mancini.
Italy will now face Germany for a place in Sunday’s final in Euro 2012 on 28th June.