Italian press hails super Mario

Fri, Jun 29, 2012, 01:00

Soccer:The Italian press is unanimous in its praise of Mario Balotelli after last night’s 2-1 victory over Germany that clinched a place in the final of the Euro 2012.

The Manchester City forward scored two superb goals to fire Italy into Sunday’s final against holders Spain at the Olympic stadium in Kiev.

This morning’s Gazzetta dello Sportscreams: “It’s us!!!”

That is followed by a sub-headline which reads: “Super Balotelli, the whole of Italy celebrates.”

The 21-year-old Balotelli, playing in his first major tournament, had not impressed in the Azzurri’s group games in Poland and Ukraine although he did score against the Republic of Ireland.

However, he stole the limelight in Warsaw yesterday.

Gazzetta’s editorial “A star is born” applauds Balotelli, whose heroics put the Azzurri in the final of the tournament for the first time since 2000.

An editorial in the Rome-based Corriere dello Sportsays the Azzurri’s win could not have come at a better time for the country and for the sport.

Italy is struggling with the world-wide economic crisis while the Azzurri went into Euro 2012 with the match-fixing scandal having hit the nation’s football leagues.

Corriere wrote: “Happiness is restored to the country.”

Turin-based sports newspaper Tuttosportshows a photograph of Balotelli, noting his sublime performance: “Fabulous goals by Balotelli.”

National newspaper La Repubblicasalutes the Azzurri’s performance, their best of the tournament so far, and says on its front page: “The perfect game, Azzurri in the final.

“The magical night of super Mario.”

National newspaper Il Messagerois also in awe of the national team’s display, with a headline that reads: “Magical Italy.”

The paper also highlighted Italy’s dominance over Germany, with a sub-headline that said: “Germany defeated again with a superb Balotelli.”

The win ended Germany’s 15-match winning streak in competitive games.

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