The clown prince of Italy, born in Palermo to a Ghanaian immigrant family, but raised by Italian foster parents, Mario Balotelli became an Italian at 18 and is the key to how far the Azzurri can go in Brazil. He has Herculean strength, speed, vision and technique. He was the best player at the 2013 Confederations Cup before injury, and beat Germany single-handedly in the 2012 Euro semi-final. But there is something of a ticking time bomb about Balotelli, whose career is littered with incidents of strange behavior. His clubs Inter Milan, Manchester City and AC Milan have all seen both sides of the coin. But national coach Cesare Prandelli feels he is a lost boy rather than a bad boy and could be the man to help him achieve greatness.
Balotelli scored a sumptuous header agaisnt England that won the game for Azzuri. The clown prince of Italy would be looking to do the same throughout the tournament.
Date of birth: 1990-08-12
Height: 189 cm
Weight: 88.0 kg
Clubs: Lumezzane (2005-2006), Inter Milan (2006-2010), Manchester City (Eng/2010-Jan. 2013), AC Milan (It/since Feb. 2013).
International appearances: 29.
International goals: 12.
International debut: 10/08/2010, Italy-Ivory Coast (0-1).
Last international appearance: 18/11/2013, Italy-Nigeria (2-2).
European Championships: final (2012), 6 matches, 3 goals.
Confederations Cup: 3rd (2013), 3 matches, 2 goals.
1 Champions League (2010).
3 Italian Championships (2008, 2009, 2010)
1 Italian Cup (2010)..
1 Italian Supercup (2008).
1 English Championship (2012).
1 FA Cup (2011).
1 community Shield (2012).