Italy is a country rich in the tradition of soccer, having won four World Cup trophies in the past. They are second to only Brazil, who has five and is the destination of next summer’s World Cup. Italy‘s national side is known as a methodical and tactically-sound team traditionally, playing with commitment, tenacity and as an overall well-tempered outfit.
Having officially qualified for the World Cup yesterday, I find it fascinating that a team like Italy’s World Cup success falls on the shoulders of Mario Balotelli.
Balotelli could be characterized as brash, cocky, ill-tempered and extremely selfish. Contrarily, that is not what the Italian National team stands for organizationally. Nevertheless, Italy manager Cesare Prandelli can’t deny the talent the 23-year possesses despite his disciplinary problems.
Balotelli has scored 12 goals in 27 caps for his country; his antics on the pitch have become legendary, but sometimes for the wrong reasons. Being of Ghanaian decent and sporting his trademark blonde Mohawk, Balotelli doesn’t need to do much to stand out in the Italian lineup. Prandelli hopes that Balotelli will focus on standing out for the right reasons on the pitch as opposed to his occasional obnoxiousness.
The AC Milan man has immense talent; Balotelli has the type of traits that many other professional soccer players envy. With an ideal physique for a striker, Balotelli has pace, technique, and is a clinical finisher with a knack for scoring timely goals for club and country.
If Italy is to be legitimate contenders to hoist the World Cup trophy in Brazil, Balotelli must maintain his form and live up to the undeniable potential he has. The sky is truly the limit for this Italian superstar, and the nation of Italy hopes Balotelli is up for the challenge