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Balotelli unfazed by Euro pressure

Mario Balotelli says Manchester City’s title success means defeat in the Euro 2012 final for Italy would not signal a personal failure.

Cesare Prandelli’s men beat a much-fancied Germany team 2-1 in their semi-final, with Balotelli netting an impressive double to set up a final against reigning champions Spain.

The unpredictable forward has already tasted English Premier League success with club side City last season, and he feels the pressure is off going into the European Championship decider in Kiev on Sunday.

“We won the league at Manchester City so having a good season for me doesn’t depend on winning the Euros,” he said.

“If we don’t win it, it wouldn’t spoil the other things but it would be special.”

The 21-year-old hopes to repeat his goal-scoring form from the semi-finals in the clash on Sunday, but insists his country winning the trophy is more important than his individual return.

“If we win and I score, it will be amazing,” he said.

“If I don’t score and we win it will still be amazing.

“I am really happy at the moment and on Sunday I hope I will be even happier.

“We are in the final. We are one of the two best teams in the tournament. We have to go there and play to win.”

Spain and Italy have already met at the tournament, the teams played out a 1-1 draw in their Group C opener on June 10.

Balotelli is looking forward to renewing acquaintance with City team-mate and Spain playmaker David Silva.

“I know David very well,” he said.

“I played against him in the first game. It is going to be fun.”

Sat 30 June, 2012
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