Friday, 29 June 2012

Euro 2012: Italian press reacts to 'Super Mario Balotelli' as 'the whole of Italy celebrates'


The Italian press is unanimous in its praise of Mario Balotelli after last night's 2-1 victory over Germany that clinched a place in the final of the Euro 2012.

The Manchester City striker scored two superb goals to fire Italy into Sunday's final against holders Spain at the Olympic stadium in Kiev.
Turin-based sports newspaper Tuttosport were understandably delighted. "Li abbiamo fatti Neri" the paper shouted, with a big picture of Balotelli with his shirt off.
"We made them black!" seems an unfortunate phrase to be using, coming as it does only days after Gazetta dello Sport had to apologise for a cartoon depicting Balotelli as King Kong.
But in Italy the idiom means: "We beat them black and blue". So that's OK then.
Gazzetta were keeping it simple this time: "It's us!!!" followed by a sub-header which reads: "Super Balotelli, the whole of Italy celebrates."
Inside the paper Gazzetta salutes Balotelli as a new star whose stunning brace put the Azzurri in the final of the tournament for the first time since 2000.
The Rome-based Corriere dello Sport shows on its front page a photograph of Balotelli celebrating after scoring his second goal with the headline: "Giants of Italy. Germany beaten 2-1, we are in the final. Balotelli amazing."
Corriere's editorial believes the Azzurri's win could not have come at a better time for the country and for the sport.
Italy is struggling with the worldwide economic crisis while the Azzurri went into Euro 2012 with the match-fixing scandal having hit the nation's football leagues.
The paper writes: "Happiness is restored to the country."
National newspaper Il Messagero also gushes over the national team's display: "Magical Italy," the headline reads.
The paper also highlights Italy's dominance over Germany with a sub-headline that said: "Germany defeated again with a superb Balotelli."
The win ended Germany's 15-match winning streak in competitive games and extends Itlay's unbeaten record against them to eight games.
National newspaper La Repubblica salutes the Azzurri's performance, their best of the tournament so far, and says on its front page: "The perfect game, Azzurri in the final.
"The magical night of super Mario."
Elsewhere, no time is wasted celebrating Italy's superiority over the Germans. German Chancellor Angela Merkel comes in for some particularly gentle ribbing.
The front page of Libero features a picture of Balotelli smashing a ball with her face on it and the headline "Vaffanmerkel", a portmanteau of the leader's name and an Italian phrase which suggests in no uncertain terms that the subject "go forth and multiply now please".
"Grande Italia!" they add. "Germany were dominated and liquidated with two goals from SuperMario Balotelli."
The front-page of Il Giornale continues in a similar vein with a headline that reads: "Ciao Ciao Culona" – "Bye bye, fat bum".
"It's not Monti but Balotelli, who with a double destroys Germany and sends us into the final. Frau Merkel, it's you who is leaving the Euro."
The German press on the other hand, can only talk in terms of nightmares and broken dreams.
Hamburger Morgenpost'front page has a single word "albtraum" – "nightmare".
"Aus! Aus! Der Traum ist Aus!" – "Gone! Gone! The dream is gone!", writes Germany's bestselling tabloid Bild in typically melodramatic fashion.
"Again no great German victory. Again, no title," they wail. "The last one we won was in 1996, 16 years ago." Sixteen years?
"Our heart bleeds. Come back in half a century and we might give you some sympathy.
"And once again we lose to the Italians. The fact remains: in a tournament, we cannot beat them."
"Our beautiful run of 15 competitive victories is broken. Oh, how bitter it tastes! Jogi, where were was your golden touch this time?
"Löw gambles, but what worked so well against Greece was wildly off the mark against Italy. Gomes and Podolski are total failures, and both need to be frozen out in the near future.
"Against Italy our Ozil tornado was just a gentle breeze – and the rest was not up to much. Schweinsteiger is an example – he has been nowhere near his World Cup form, and when it mattered he was very poor."
Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung insist: "The German team must ask itself why they once again produced an error-strewn performance at the end of a major tournament."
Die Welt are blaming the impressively-coiffed coach: "The script of the defeat carries Löw's handwriting".
"He chose the wrong tactics and the result was this bitter elimination."
"History repeats itself," writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
"Italy remain Germany's nemesis. Löw's squad rotation doesn't work, and Balotelli's goals put the Italians in the final."

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