UEFA president Michel Platini says he has been enthused by Italy’s performances at Euro 2012 and is enjoying their attacking play.
Italy negotiated a tricky group that also contained Spain and Croatia, before dominating England for 120 minutes and securing a penalty shoot-out victory to seal a place in the semi-finals.
When asked by La Gazzetta dello Sport whether the Italy team was defined by corruption, catenaccio and spaghetti, the Frenchman was full of praise for the side, and for striker Mario Balotelli.
“(They’re defined by) champagne. Because Prandelli has changed their game. They’re a team that plays well from the back, and going forward. They have great players,” Platini said.
“I was pleasantly surprised (by Balotelli). He missed a few chances, but at least he has been creative, and done well for the team. I had never seen him live, and I loved him.”
A key part of Italy’s run to the last four has been Andrea Pirlo’s form, and Platini said the Juventus midfielder is a contender for the player of the tournament accolade.
“He’s been very good, but we’ll see after the final. Ballon d’Or? The road is very long,” he said.