Mancini: Balotelli should face England

21 June 2012 10:47

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has advised Italy coach Cesare Prandelli to play Mario Balotelli from the start against England.

The Azzurri take on England in Sunday's Euro 2012 quarter-final meeting in Kiev and Mancini believes City forward Balotelli could prove crucial in that game.

"Mario should always play," Mancini said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "He is the best and, with him, the national team is much stronger."

Prandelli did not start with the 21-year-old Balotelli for the first time at the European Championship in Monday's 2-0 triumph over the Republic of Ireland.

The temperamental forward came off the bench and scored his first goal in the tournament.

"Italy are much stronger if Balotelli plays," Mancini said. "If you look at the other day, he (Balotelli) came on, made an impact in the game and scored a splendid goal.

"I don't want to steal Prandelli's job because he is doing very well, but I consider Mario the best Italian striker.

"Mario is a champion and champions help you to win things.

"(Antonio) Cassano is a second striker and Di Natale is good but has different characteristics with respect to Balotelli."

Source: PA

Trending on the forum