x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Euro 2012: I can't wait to beat my Manchester City teammates, admits Mario Balotelli

The Italian forward admits he got worked up about failure to score in opening Euro 2012 games because playing for national side 'meant a lot' to him.

Mario Balotelli talks to the media ahead of Italy's Euro 2012 quarter final with England.
Mario Balotelli talks to the media ahead of Italy's Euro 2012 quarter final with England.

Italy striker Mario Balotelli admits he's keen to get the better of his Manchester City teammates when he lines up against England for their Euro 2012 quarter-final in Kiev tonight.

The controversial striker admits he had been frustrated by his failure to find the net in the tournament, before finally getting on the scoresheet against Ireland.

But he denies there is any issue between him and his colleagues in the national side.

"The national side has always meant a lot to me since when I was a kid. That is normal.

"In the first few games I was very emotional because it was my first European Championships so that is normal.

"I was bit worked up because I hadn't scored a goal. I wasn't angry, I didn't have problems with the squad.

"I'm fine. The only thing was that I didn't score a goal."

If he features tonight, Balotelli will likely come face to face with City teammates James Milner, Joe Hart and Joleon Lescott - and the forward is keen to impress against his English Premier League pals.

"I hope it will be a good match and it will be fun playing against my Manchester City teammates," he said.

"They know me and I know them. I just hope it is going to be fun but I want to win even if they are my teammates and put in a good performance and I hope they will lose.

"All the players at Manchester City in the England side are my friends, Milner, Hart, Lescott.

"I hope we win the game and I mean it with all my heart and soul."

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