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Prandelli Applauds 'Unique' Balotelli

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Italy coach Cesare Prandelli lauded his striker Mario Balotelli as "excellent" and "unique" after his two goals put Italy in the Euro 2012 final with a 2-1 win over Germany.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli lauded his striker Mario Balotelli as "excellent" and "unique" after his two goals put Italy in the Euro 2012 final with a 2-1 win over Germany.

The 21-year-old Manchester City man showcased his precocious talent with two brute-force strikes in the first half to send his team through.

"Ballotelli was excellent, just like the whole team," Prandelli said. "I believe that a team should have an idea and Balotelli really corresponded to this idea. He had a great performance."

But the player infamous for a questionable temperament showed exemplary discipline when he needed to, Prandelli said.

"Balotelli was in the game, he did exactly what I asked him to do," the coach added. "When it comes to Balotelli, I think he is unique. He is strong physically, he can work for the team, but he is also on time, when he is required in the penalty area."

Italy missed a glut of chances on the counterattack as Germany pressed forward in search of the equalizer and left holes at the back.

Prandelli insisted "we really deserved a third goal," but acknowledged his side had nothing left in the final minutes.

"Had they leveled the score, we would have lost 5-2 because we were really exhausted."

The Italians have just two days' rest before Sunday's final against Spain in Kiev.

 

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