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

m only commenting on this (I don't care about Liverpool) because F365's twitter said I had call Matt Stanger a tw*t (which I don't agree with anyway) but I just wanted to be the first. Am I the first?

tk421
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

S

unday, Sunday. Will there be a fan of either team, who if they are winning after 80 mins, won't still be nervous? This could be anything from 0-0 to 5-5, and no one would bat an eye.

megabrow (cufc)
A Season Of Continuous False Dawns

T

his year I am getting F365 a whack-a-mole game but with Brendan instead of the mole (Like the one with JD on Scrubs) and every time he pops up he says something. Outstanding Whack!, Character Whack!, Magnificent Whack!, Wonderful Composure Whack, Whack f**king Whack. Hours of fun.

hump3.
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

Footer 365

Premier League: Joe Hart agrees long-term contract with Manchester City

Joe Hart has signed a new long-term contract which keeps him at Manchester City until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Premier League: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says Manchester United can still win title

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert believes Saturday's opponents Manchester United can still win the Barclays Premier League.

Premier League: Manuel Pellegrini confident James Milner will sign new deal at Manchester City

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident James Milner will soon sign a new contract with the club.

Mail Box

More Players In The Wrong Bloody Shirt

Plus Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks 'heart-breakingly well-suited to a Real Madrid shirt' according to one United fan. Plus, words from the good doctor and plenty more...

Players Plainly Wearing The Wrong Strip...

There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property