Zeenews Sports Bureau
Kiev: It is his time. After being in news, mostly for the wrong reasons in the past, Mario Balotelli played some sensational football in the semi-final. He single-handedly blew away the star-studded Germany team and it was his aggressive approach that changed the course of the entire game.
In the absence of their star striker David Villa, the Spanish team has somehow managed to succeed with the ‘false nine’ strategy. It was Del Bosque’s idea which has worked so far for the defending champions.
It was first used against the Azzurris in the opening match. The formation did invite a lot of criticism after the game ended in a 1-1 draw even though it was Cesc Fabregas, who scored the lone goal for the defending champions. Spain slammed in four goals against a sorry Irish team with the ‘real 9’ Torres scoring a brace. However, against France Vicente Del Bosque opted Fabregas ahead of Torres, nevertheless Spain won 2-0 to enter the last four.
But keeping in mind the way Ballotelli played in the semi-final, Spain will have to rethink their strategy. The Italian side has plenty of strikers- Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, and Antonio Di Natale and thus Spain will have to come up with men to match them.
Balotelli is likely to put a similar kind of performance against the defending champions and if Spain cannot stop him, they should at least not hit the field with the ‘false nine’ strategy.
I was very emotional on the podium and I broke down into tears because this was my first Asian Games after missing the two previous Asian Games, partly because of a doping allegation in 2006 when I was innocent.