'A star is born': Italian press unanimous in praise for Mario Balotelli
Friday 29 June 2012
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 Sport screams: "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 on 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.
The Rome-based Corriere dello Sport shows on its front page a photograph of Balotelli celebrating after scoring his second goal with the headline: "Giants of Italy.
"Germany beaten 2-1, we are in the final.
Corriere's editorial believes 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 Tuttosport shows a photograph of Balotelli, noting his sublime performance: "Fabulous goals by Balotelli."
National newspaper La Repubblica salutes 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 Messagero is 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, a team they had never beaten in a competitive match in seven attempts, 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.
Germany had more time to rest after their quarter-final showdown against Greece than the Azzurri, who also had to go to extra-time to beat England.
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