Jun 20, 2014 at 5pm UK at ​Arena Pernambuco, Recife
Italy
0-1
Costa Rica

Balotelli (69')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Ruiz (44')
Cubero (71')

Cesare Prandelli: 'Mario Balotelli is our weapon'

Prandelli: 'Balotelli is our weapon'
© Getty Images
Italy manager Cesare Prandelli hails the impact that Mario Balotelli has made for the national side.

Italy manager Cesare Prandelli has hailed the impact that Mario Balotelli has made for the national side.

The AC Milan forward was influential in the Azzurri's 2-1 victory against England and is seen as key to his country's success in Brazil.

"If we look at the last four years, there are times where he was our weapon, the man who would take us to the moon, then two months later, he was not the same player," Prandelli told reporters.

"What is important is that he concentrates. If he can do that for 90 minutes, then good, if not we will have someone else come in and replace him."

Balotelli has scored 13 goals in his 31 appearances for the Italian national side.

Italy's coach Cesare Prandelli gestures to his players from the sidelines during a Group D football match between England and Italy at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14, 2014
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