The Italy striker dedicated his winner against England on Saturday to his future wife before turning his attentions to Costa Rica and his side’s next Group D encounter
Mario Balotelli says his goal in Italy’s 2-1 win over England was for his fiance Fanny Neguesha and stressed he would not get carried away over his side’s prospects.
The AC Milan forward scored a 50th-minute header to give the Azzurri a 2-1 victory after Claudio Marchisio and Daniel Sturridge had both found the net in the first half of the Group D clash.
Balotelli expressed his delight with making his first appearance in a World Cup and dedicated his decisive strike to his Belgian fiance, who was watching the game in an Italy shirt from the stands after accepting an engagement proposal from him at their training camp this week.
“It’s a unique experience,” the 23-year-old was quoted by Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I’ve never played a World Cup. It was my first World Cup match and it was a wonderful sensation to experience.
“My goal is dedicated to my future wife who is here and my friends who are at home.
The Azzurri now appear favourites to top the group after Uruguay’s 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica but the former Inter and Manchester City striker refused to dwell too long on his side’s chances of attaining a fifth World Cup win.
“We do not fear anyone,” he continued.
“But we have to play without getting ahead of ourselves, and only think of Costa Rica. We must keep our feet on the ground otherwise we’re going nowhere.
“The climactic conditions were just terrible tonight in Manaus,” he added when asked about the heat and humidity of the Amazonian city.
“It was far too hot. Italy always suffer, but the important thing is to win.”
Cesare Prandelli’s men will now take on Costa Rica on June 20 and Uruguay on June 24.