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Robbie Fowler: Balotelli has won me over

by Sean Goff | July 1, 2012

 Robbie Fowler byline

Wayward Italian striker Mario Balotelli has silenced his critics with some memorable displays ahead of tonight’s Euro 2012 showdown with Spain and Robbie Fowler is impressed.

I’ve not been Mario Balotelli’s biggest fan but he’s winning me over with his performances heading into tonight’s final at Euro 2012.

If Italy are to beat the reigning champions Spain tonight then Balotelli is the one who will do it for them.

To be fair to the Manchester City striker he looks on song at the minute and it looks like the Balotelli that everyone raves about will turn up. Two great goals and a great performance against Germany in the semi-finals will have given him all the confidence he needs ahead of tonight’s test.

Whatever Italian manager Cesare Prandelli has said to him is obviously working – he looks on top of his game and focused.

He’s obviously got a little bit of devilment and a bit of a wayward streak in him but all great players have that characteristic.

He hasn’t always been the most reliable on the pitch – or off it – but now he’s working hard for the team, getting hold of the ball and scoring goals and he deserves a lot of credit.

He’s really won me over.

I don’t think anyone would have predicted a Spain v Italy final after the side’s drew 1-1 in their opening Group C encounter.

I think you’d struggle to find someone – outside of Italy anyway – who backed the Azzurri to win Euro 2012 after the problems they had in the build-up.

Spain really haven’t had a settled side under manager Vincente del Bosque but they’ve got the results and now they’re in the final. That’s the sign of a really good side.

The Spanish manager will probably start Cesc Fabregas up front in that ‘invisible No 9’ role and he could be good value to score first. I’d like Spain to win it and make history by becoming the first team to win three major championships in a row.

There won’t be too many goals though. For me, it’s a 1-0 win for Spain with Fabregas to get on the scoresheet.

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