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

t's why Mourinho is so successful. He gives players a specific, limited set of functions to perform. They are but a cog in a machine. Do no more, do no less. I assume he learnt it from LvG :)

red_devil83
Fellaini Has Politely Become Undroppable

I

really hope that someone in the mainstream media spots that the Bayern manager played for and managed Barcelona quite well, and thinks to mention it in the build up. That would be really interesting.

megabrow (cufc)
Barcelona to face Bayern

Y

our gob says one thing, Brendan, the results say something else.

balls-to-monty
Rodgers bullish over Anfield future

Footer 365

Ilkay Gundogan close to Manchester United move

Manchester United are close to agreeing a £21.5m deal to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, according to Sky sources.

Eden Hazard will stay at Chelsea and not move to Real Madrid, says Jose Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is not concerned about Real Madrid’s reported interest in Eden Hazard.

Barcelona to face old boss Pep Guardiola's Bayern, Juventus draw Real Madrid in Champions League semi-finals

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola will return to the Nou Camp to face Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

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