Sep 10, 2013 at 7.45pm UK
Italy
2-1
Czech Republic
Chiellini (52'), Balotelli (56' pen.)
Balotelli (30')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Kozak (19')
Kolar (61'), Kozak (78')
Kolar (89')

Mario Balotelli: 'Italy should be feared'

Balotelli: 'Italy should be feared'
© AFP
Italy striker Mario Balotelli feels that the Azzurri should be feared by the rest of the world following their qualification to next summer's World Cup.

Mario Balotelli has said that the rest of the world should be fearful of the threat Italy pose after their qualification to the 2014 World Cup was secured.

The Azzurri striker converted a penalty in their 2-1 win against Czech Republic on Tuesday evening.

With their place in Brazil next summer secured following the victory, the AC Milan forward declared that Cesare Prandelli's men should be considered one of favourites for the tournament.

"I think we're among the favourites," Balotelli told RAI Sport. "There are one or two teams above us, but they should fear us, not the other way around.

"When (Czech goalkeeper) Petr Cech parried that shot I thought he would get it if I fired low, so I tried to raise the finish and went too high.

"I was unlucky, but I just kept trying until the end. Missing that many chances has never happened to me before."

The Italians now have a seven-point lead at the top of Group B.

Italy's Mario Balotelli celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Czech Republic during their World Cup qualifier on September 10, 2013
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