Euro final: Spain identifies Italy’s ‘Super Mario’ as major threat

Updated: Jun 30, 2012, 15:03 PM IST

London: Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas has admitted striker Mario Balotelli is a major threat to their chances of creating history when they face Italy in the final of the Euro Cup in Kiev on Sunday.

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The Manchester City striker stunned Germany with an outrageous double in their semi-final to live up to his ‘Super Mario’ nickname.

Fabregas has pinpointed Balotelli as Italy’s main man, urging his teammates not take their eyes off the impulsive 21-year-old.

“I think Mario is a great player. He demonstrated that when he scored two goals in the semi-final against a very strong team like Germany,” a newspaper quoted Fabregas, as saying.

“Clearly he is a threat to us, like Antonio Cassano and Italy’s other strikers, and we will do our best to deactivate this threat,” he added.

Fabregas said beating Italy won’t be a cakewalk for them, and admitted they would have to work hard on tactics if they fancy any chance to create history.

“Italy have a very competitive team, are very experienced at the back and have players who have dominated Italian football this season while playing for Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan,” Fabregas said,

“They also have a lot of variety with players who are very strong, like Balotelli, then tricky players who get behind you like Cassano and Antonio Di Natale, and then special players like Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio,” he added.

“We will try to deactivate the two strikers and Pirlo, who are the main offensive problems we could have,” he said.