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Balotelli eyes Italy goal record

Mario Balotelli has set his sights on becoming the all-time leading goalscorer for the Italian national side, but he knows that will be a tough task.

The Milan striker has scored eight goals in 20 appearances so far during his international career, and he remains some way off the mark of 35 set by Gigi Riva between 1965 and 1974.

Still, 22-year-old Balotelli certainly has time on his side, although he knows that he will have to take every opportunity that comes his way if he is to come anywhere close to surpassing Riva’s tally.

“Riva’s 35 strikes are a lot, especially when you consider how few games you have at your disposal internationally,” he said.

“I’ll certainly try to overtake that tally, but it will be extremely difficult for me to do so.”

Balotelli will have another chance to find the net again for Italy when they face the Czech Republic on Friday in a FIFA World Cup qualifier.

However, the former Manchester City forward insists that he is focused on helping Cesare Prandelli’s men produce a good team performance, and is not overly concerned with his own individual success.

“I’m in good shape,” he added.

“Am I a leader? We are all leaders here, everyone needs everyone else in order to play well and win games. The squad is fundamental.”

Fri 7 June, 2013
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