Brazil legend Pele has praised mercurial forward Mario Balotelli and feels the AC Milan star is a “real striker” who causes his opponents problems with his physical approach. The Italy international made the headlines for all the wrong reasons earlier this month when he was booked twice within four minutes in a scoreless World Cup 2014 qualifier against Czech Republic, but Pele nonetheless speaks highly of the former Manchester City attacker. “I really love Balotelli’s style of play. He is a real striker,” Pele told reporters. “He uses his physicality to create space for himself and harass opponents.”
Balotelli joined Milan from City in the winter transfer window and helped the San Siro giants to third spot in the table with 12 goals in 13 Serie A appearances.
Pele then went on to have his say on Italy’s chances at the upcoming FIFA Confederations Cup and insisted that the Azzurri are a dangerous side in the competition.
“I like Italy, because they always getthe best out of themselves at the big
occasions,” Pele said.
Cesare Prandelli’s men meet Mexico in their first group game on June 16 before also meeting Japan and host Brazil in the opening stage.
The Italians would be keen to correct the mistakes of 2009. The team is out to brave the odds and perform beyond world exceptions as in the 2008 European cup of nations and the 2006 world cup.Cesare Prandelli the full list to represent the Azurri counts:
|#||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Gianluigi Buffon (c)||28 January 1978 (age 35)||128||0||Juventus|
|2||DF||Christian Maggio||11 February 1982 (age 31)||24||0||Napoli|
|3||DF||Giorgio Chiellini||14 August 1984 (age 28)||57||2||Juventus|
|4||DF||Davide Astori||7 January 1987 (age 26)||3||0||Cagliari|
|5||DF||Mattia De Sciglio||20 October 1992 (age 20)||3||0||Milan|
|6||MF||Antonio Candreva||28 February 1987 (age 26)||7||0||Lazio|
|7||MF||Alberto Aquilani||7 July 1984 (age 28)||23||4||Fiorentina|
|8||MF||Claudio Marchisio||19 January 1986 (age 27)||32||1||Juventus|
|9||FW||Mario Balotelli||12 August 1990 (age 22)||20||8||Milan|
|10||FW||Sebastian Giovinco||26 January 1987 (age 26)||14||0||Juventus|
|11||FW||Alberto Gilardino||5 July 1982 (age 30)||51||18||Bologna|
|12||GK||Salvatore Sirigu||12 January 1987 (age 26)||5||0||Paris Saint-Germain|
|13||GK||Federico Marchetti||7 February 1983 (age 30)||8||0||Lazio|
|14||FW||Stephan El Shaarawy||27 October 1992 (age 20)||6||1||Milan|
|15||DF||Andrea Barzagli||8 May 1981 (age 32)||41||0||Juventus|
|16||MF||Daniele De Rossi||24 July 1983 (age 29)||84||14||Roma|
|17||FW||Alessio Cerci||23 July 1987 (age 25)||3||0||Torino|
|18||MF||Riccardo Montolivo||18 January 1985 (age 28)||43||2||Milan|
|19||DF||Leonardo Bonucci||1 May 1987 (age 26)||26||2||Juventus|
|20||DF||Ignazio Abate||12 November 1986 (age 26)||10||0||Milan|
|21||MF||Andrea Pirlo||19 May 1979 (age 34)||98||12||Juventus|
|22||MF||Emanuele Giaccherini||5 May 1985 (age 28)||8||0||Juventus|
|23||MF||Alessandro Diamanti||2 May 1983 (age 30)||11||0||Bologna|