Balotelli can lead Euro 2012 clean sweep for impressive Italy
Personal player accolades could accompany team success in Poland and Ukraine
Although written off by many, Italy were impressive in conquering Germany on Thursday night, and are now 6/4 chances to win Euro 2012.
Italy entered that semi-final tie as 7/2 underdogs to win in normal time, but a Mario Balotelli brace proved enough to secure a 2-1 victory for the Azzurri.
They are now gunning for a second European Championship title, and while their opponents Spain are 1/2 favourites to successfully defend their crown, many will fancy Italy in light of their performance on Thursday.
Andrea Pirlo was once again imperious in the Italian midfield, pulling strings throughout the game as he did against England in the quarter-final, and has to some extent throughout the tournament.
Indeed, Pirlo it was who claimed a tremendous assist in Italy’s tournament opener against Spain, and he will be integral to his side in their bid to de-throne the European kings in Sunday’s final.
The Juventus midfielder is now odds-on at 5/6 to land the Player of the Tournament award, and another impressive display against Spain would surely secure that accolade for him.
His teammate Balotelli could also be in line for a personal award too, after seemingly coming from nowhere to power into Golden Boot contention.
Balotelli hit a double to fire Italy into the final, which took his goal tally to three for the tournament, and in turn saw him join four players at the head of the scoring charts.
With a starting berth in the final now looking all but guaranteed, the Manchester City striker could justify 5/4 odds to finish as the tournament’s top scorer.
He demonstrated an ice-cool finishing ability against Germany, and looks unlikely to be fazed by the occasion on Sunday.
Spanish hopes Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres meanwhile, have each scored two goals apiece, but it is unclear as to which, if any, of those players will start the game, further suggesting Balotelli is primed for personal glory.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.