Thursday, 31 January 2008

Mancio cools Mario mania

Teenage striking star Mario Balotelli was ecstatic after firing Inter into the Coppa Italia semi-finals, but Roberto Mancini is keeping him grounded.

The 17-year-old marksman scored the decisive brace in last night’s 3-2 triumph at the Stadio Olimpico and took his total for the competition to four goals after striking twice against Reggina in the last 16.

"I’m very happy and I want to thank Mancini for playing me from the start," Balotelli grinned after the game in an interview with the Inter Channel. "I was very tired at the end.

"Maniche made a great pass for my first goal. I controlled it well, which was the most difficult thing, and I kept my cool.

"For my second, I trapped the ball and someone else was calling for it, but I decided to shoot and it went well."

The peninsula’s newspapers are full of praise for the gifted youngster, but Mancini doesn’t want him to get carried away.

"Mario has to stay calm because he has quality but still has lots of hard work to do," the Nerazzurri tactician insisted. "He can and should score more goals.

"He has to keep his feet on the ground. Today he scored two important goals, but he needs to carry on like this and always be looking to improve."

Inter can now look ahead to a semi-final against Lazio.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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