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RECIFE, Brazil -- Mario Balotelli couldnt care less if hes mentioned in the same breath as Neymar or Lionel Messi at this World

in Warum es dieses Forum gibt und wozu ich das mache 31.05.2019 05:03
von carrie201918 • 685 Beiträge

RECIFE, Brazil -- Mario Balotelli couldnt care less if hes mentioned in the same breath as Neymar or Lionel Messi at this World Cup -- as long as he comes away with the trophy. Having scored the winning goal in Italys 2-1 victory over England and now getting ready for Fridays match against Costa Rica, the temperamental forward has gained more attention than any other Azzurri player in Brazil. "I hope this is Italys World Cup, not Marios. Im not really interested in being compared with the big stars," Balotelli said Thursday. "In the end its the squad that wins. I dont want to be a big star. I want to win the World Cup." "Personally, I want to score as many goals as possible," he added at the official pre-match news conference. "But the important thing is that the squad wins and advances." Wearing a black cap turned backward and a total of three diamond earrings -- two on his right ear, one on the left -- Balotelli was his usual candid self. Asked if he minds being the lone forward in coach Cesare Prandellis 4-1-4-1 formation, Balotelli snapped back: "As long as I play." This is a first World Cup for Balotelli, who helped lead Italy to the 2012 European Championship final. "This is the biggest event of my career and I want to give my all," he said. "The World Cup is more important than the Golden Ball, the Champions League or the scudetto (Serie A title), so its only normal that it creates a spark inside of you." Balotelli has made headlines almost from the moment he landed in Brazil, first by proposing to his Belgian girlfriend on a moon-lit beach in the week leading up to the England match. "The proposal had nothing to do with the World Cup," Balotelli said. "The proposal would have occurred even without the World Cup." Balotelli is coming off an up-and-down club season with AC Milan and has been the subject of rampant transfer speculation in recent weeks. There have been reports that Arsenal is offering Milan a (euro)30 million ($40 million) transfer fee, and a contract for Balotelli worth 180,000 pounds (more than $300,000) per week. "My focus is 100 per cent on the World Cup," he said. "I dont know what will happen afterward. I dont know anything." While he does appear focused, Balotelli was not prepared for questions about Costa Ricas players. For example, what does he think about Keylor Navas, who had a strong season with Levante and is considered one of the top goalkeepers in the Spanish league? "Honestly, Im unprepared for this question because I havent seen the Costa Rica goalkeeper," he responded. OK, so what impressed him about Costa Ricas defence in a 3-1 win over Uruguay? "I saw the match but to be sincere I didnt study the players," Balotelli said. "Ill watch them tonight." That was the point when Prandelli butted in and offered help. "If you want, I can answer about all of the players," the coach told a Costa Rican journalist with a smile. Costa Rica defender Giancarlo Gonzalez, however, wasnt amused. "We will let the world know that we are here," Gonzalez said. Sitting right next to Balotelli, Prandelli managed to analyze his prized players hot and cold streaks as if he were there alone. "If you look at Mario in these four years there have been moments of alarm," Prandelli said. "One moment hes the man whos going to bring you to the top of the world and then a moment later he shouldnt even be at the World Cup." "The important thing for us is for him to stay focused and play like he did in the last match," Prandelli added. "If he does that for 90 minutes he could be decisive. He needs to give 100 per cent." Jaylen Brown Jersey . In the Brewers six games this season, no starter has allowed more than three runs. 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Sundays opener marked the first time two teams met in the Western finals in back-to-back years since the Stars/Avalanche in 1999-2000. Picking up wins in Chicago has not been easy for the Kings or anybody else. The Blackhawks have claimed six straight home games against L.A. in the regular season and playoffs combined and are 7-0 as the host in this postseason. Chicago is 18-2 in its past 20 home playoff games, and according to Elias Sports Bureau, the Blackhawks are the first NHL team to win 18 of 20 home postseason games since Edmonton did the same from April 7, 1988-May 2, 1990. Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw, who hasnt played since Game 1 of the second round due to a lower-body injury, will not play tonight. He wanted to play, but coach Joel Quenneville said they will wait until Game 3 on Saturday. Of course, the Kings are no stranger to coming from behind in a playoff series this spring. 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We made a couple mistakes and they ended up in our net." Los Angeles, which has played 15 postseason games thus far, had an extra day to regroup for this evenings Game 2. "Only time I really noticed it quite honest was early in the game," Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said when asked if fatigue was a factor in Game 1. "They were going to come out with some energy, they did two or three times in the first where we got caught at the end of shifts. Thats where it showed up. Other than that, I dont think it really hurt us that much." The clubs will get two more days of rest after tonights battle, as Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday in Los Angeles. Kings forward Anze Kopitar was held without a point for only the second time in these playoffs on Sunday. He is leading all players in the postseason with 19 points on five goals and 14 assists. "Theyre a good team obviously," Kopitar said after Game 1, "I think right down the lineup theyre pretty solid, obviously. 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