Balotelli: World Cup more important than Champions League or Ballon d'Or

The 23-year-old spoke ahead of his side’s fixture against Costa Rica in Recife on Friday and has his eyes firmly set on what he believes to be football’s biggest prize

Italy striker Mario Balotelli is determined to lead his nation to World Cup glory and feels that the title holds more importance than either the Champions League or the Ballon d’Or.

The Azzurri are looking to build on their excellent start to the tournament when they face Costa Rica on Friday, after Balotelli’s goal gave them a 2-1 win over England in their opening fixture.

A win in Recife against the central Americans will see Italy through and the AC Milan striker is enjoying his nation’s campaign for what he feels is the ultimate prize.

He told the media: “I’m experiencing this tournament with a great piece of mind. I experience no pressure, nor anything of the sort.

“I want to go as far as I can in the World Cup and score as many goals as possible. But the important thing is that the team wins. For me, the World Cup is more important than the Champions League or the Ballon d’Or.

“I hope it’s not Mario’s World Cup, but Italy’s World Cup. I don’t want to be the star, I want the team to win.”

Balotelli also refused to be drawn on speculation surrounding his future in Milan, insisting that he is only interested in what happens with Italy in the next month.

He added: “I’m concentrating on the national team and the World Cup. What comes later, we will see.

“I know nothing.”

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