El Shaarawy optimistic over Mario

Stephan El Shaarawy believes he and Mario Balotelli can become a feared strikeforce for Italy.

Last Updated: 15/11/12 at 13:28 Post Comment

Mario Balotelli: Set up El Shaarawy for his goal on Wednesday

Mario Balotelli: Set up El Shaarawy for his goal on Wednesday

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The AC Milan forward netted his first international goal in Wednesday night's 2-1 loss to France.

The 20-year-old continued his recent hot streak as he fired his 10th goal in 14 games to send Italy ahead on 35 minutes.

Balotelli provided a lay-off earlier in the move and the duo had also earlier combined before the Manchester City man cracked a shot against the crossbar.

While France battled back to snatch the win, thanks to goals from Mathieu Valbuena and substitute Bafetimbi Gomis, the partnership of Balotelli and El Shaarawy was a major plus point in a 4-3-3 that also included Antonio Candreva.

"Mario is a great player who can also provide goal scoring chances," El Shaarawy told reporters after the match.

"I hope we can be the pairing of the future. I am going through a good period right now and I hope it continues.

"It was an important goal for me, though sadly it was not enough to get a result tonight. We played a strong team so on a personal level I am very satisfied."

Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli elevated a number of his Under-21 players for last night's match in Parma with midfielder Marco Verratti handed a start while Alessandro Florenzi made his debut.

"All these young players are capable of playing in games like this," El Shaarawy said.

"You can see that because they are doing well for their clubs and even the senior Italy squad should focus on youth."

Prandelli was happy with the way his young charges handled the shift to a new formation and believes the experimentation would stand his side in good stead for the future.

"We didn't deserve to lose this, but it was right to experiment and we will experiment again," he said.

"We need to be ready for tournaments and that means using these games to test things out.

"We did some good things, it was the first time we were trying the 4-3-3, so some movements were not going to be solid."

The 55-year-old, who took Italy to the Euro 2012 final in the summer, also praised the performance of this front men, adding: "The strikers did well and have different characteristics. El Shaarawy is very aware. I saw a good Italy side.

"If I had a few more friendlies and training sessions then we could see Andrea Pirlo and Verratti together, but for the moment we have to focus on qualifying (for the World Cup).

"It has been a great year."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho eyes Premier League title defence with new additions

Jose Mourinho may freshen up his Chelsea squad with new faces as the club look to defend their Premier League title next season.

Hull suffer Premier League relegation as Newcastle beat West Ham

Hull City suffered relegation on a goal-laden final day in the Premier League after Newcastle secured a 2-0 victory over West Ham.

Hull 0-0 Manchester United: Steve Bruce's men suffer final-day relegation

Hull City were relegated from the Premier League after they drew 0-0 with Manchester United, who had Marouane Fellaini sent off.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company