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Italy win was the best night of my life, says Balotelli

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Mario Balotelli
Warsaw, Jun 29: Italy striker Mario Balotelli described his match-winning performance in the Euro 2012 semi-final win over Germany as 'the best night of his life'.

The Manchester City striker scored twice in the first half to send Italy to the finals after beating Germany 2-1, dedicating the victory to his adopted mother Silvia.

Balotelli had been tagged as the 'bad boy' of the tournament for his off-field behaviour. But the Ghanian-born striker silenced his critics by scoring two first half goals to send the Azzurri into their first European Championships final in 12 years. Italy takes on defending champions Spain on Sunday in Kiev.

"This was the greatest night of my life and I hope Sunday will be better," Balotelli was quoted as saying in ESPNsoccernet.

"At the end of the game, I went to my mother - that was the best moment," he added.

"I waited a long time for this moment, especially as my mother is not young anymore and can't travel far, so I had to make her happy when she came all the way here. My father will be in Kiev for the final too."

"Before the game there were my mother, my brothers, my sister-in-law and my best friend all by the touchline. Having my nearest and dearest there obviously fired me up. What music do I listen to before the game? Drake. He's a friend of mine," the 21-year old Manchester City striker said.

Cesare Prandelli's side meets the defending Champions Spain on Sunday's final, their first meeting in the Group stages ended in 1-1 draw. While Balotelli was confident ahead of the finals against Spain.

"I hope to win, I don't care if I play badly as long as we give our all. We have to relax, mustn't get frustrated with Spain's possession and keep playing our football.

Don't forget we are the only side to have scored against Spain so far. We proved that we are equal to them, if not more, and we want to win," Balotelli, who is also the joint top-scorer with three goals, said.

Balotelli, also known as 'Super Mario' praised his teammates Antonio Cassano and half-German Riccardo Montolivo for providing the wonderful assists.

"It was a fantastic assist, the kind only Antonio Cassano can provide, while Riccardo Montolivo's pass was great too. I celebrated? I said I would," he said.

Balotelli was cautioned by the referee for taking his shirt off after scoring the second goal, "They didn't get angry because I was booked for taking my shirt off, but they saw my physique and got jealous!" he joked. "Both goals were important and helped to win the game, so I will remember them both the same way," he said.

OneIndia News

Story first published: Friday, June 29, 2012, 11:29 [IST]
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