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Euro 2016 Qualifying Group H

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Tuesday, 24 June 2014, 17:00

World Cup Group D

Mario wants kiss from Queen

Italy striker Mario Balotelli says he wants a 'kiss on the cheek' from the Queen if his team beat Costa Rica on Friday.

Last Updated: 20/06/14 at 11:16 Post Comment

Mario Balotelli: Italy striker wants a kiss from the Queen if his team beat Engl

Mario Balotelli: Italy striker wants a kiss from the Queen if his team beat Engl

England need the Italians to beat Costa Rica if they are to avoid an exit from the World Cup at the group stage for the first time in 56 years.

They would also need Italy to beat Uruguay and to record a win over Costa Rica themselves in the final round of Group D fixtures on Tuesday.

A draw would also send Roy Hodgson’s squad home before the round of 16, but Balotelli is typically confident his team will secure the victory that takes them into the knockout stages, and wants a unique reward should they do so.

"If we beat Costa Rica I want a kiss, obviously on the cheek, from the UK Queen," the former Manchester City striker wrote on Twitter.

Balotelli scored the winning goal for Italy in their opening win over England in Manaus and is confident he can add to his international tally of 13 as the Azzurri mount their World Cup challenge.

"I'm feeling very calm at this moment and I don’t feel under any pressure at all," he said. "I would like to go as far as possible in this World Cup.

"My personal aim is to score as many goals as possible but the most important thing is that the team plays well and advances."

Balotelli, who scored 19 goals in 41 games for AC Milan this season and has been linked with a move to Arsenal, but he insists he is not going to talk about his future until he has finished at the World Cup.

"About my future or the transfer market I know nothing. We will see what will be after the World Cup," he said.

One thing that is for sure, is that Balotelli will start up front for Italy against Costa Rica.

Ciro Immobile’s record of 22 goals in 33 Torino appearances means he is putting pressure on Balotelli but Italy manager Cesare Prandelli is unlikely to look beyond the Milan man.

Prandelli said: "If I look at the past four years with Mario, there were times when he was the weapon, the player who could take us to the moon.

"It is important that he concentrates and that he does what he did in the last game, not so much the goal but the contribution he made.

"If he can do that for 90 minutes then great, if not we have someone just as good and as fresh."

Another player full of himself. Italy looked poor, better than England but still poor and now you have a match against Uruguay that is do or die and going by the Costa Rica game you are going to need a lot of luck.
- crow

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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