The Star (Nairobi)

30 June 2012

Kenya: Ballotelli May Be Stubborn but the Boy's Got 'Skillz'

I am sorry but it is impossible not to like Mario Balotelli. He's got attitude, he's a brat sometimes, he's stubborn, he has no manners, but the boy's got skillz. Yes "skillz" with a "Z!" I almost liken him to Usain Bolt who we all love because he holds the world 100 and 200 metres records, but he also has attitude. He is a show-man; and sports need that. Balotelli is fully aware of the impact he has on fans when he refuses to smile and when he causes for referees or says the wrong thing at the wrong time.

But on Thursday I saw the young man come out of his shell. After saying: "I never celebrate goals but it's my job to score goals. Do Postmen celebrate every time they deliver a letter. It's just a job!" Well the job got the better of him on Thursday and he celebrated both goals! Italy fan or not, so did I. Spain have been less than impressive in their style of play but the fact that they are in the final shows that they are getting the results.

Vicente Del Bosque made a huge mistake against Portugal by not starting with a striker and not even with Cesc Fabregas, who has been scoring for Spain and taking up a striking role sometimes. I fear that if Del Bosque doesn't start Llorente and/or Fabregas, then Italy will Balotelli them.

Italy's strategy against Germany was to get the early goals and that could be Spain's downfall- conceding early. Spain have not been scoring many goals (Ireland doesn't count) and one nil just won't cut it against Balo... I mean Italy. Italy do have more than just Balotelli in fine form. Andrea Pirlo once again was superb as were Montolivo and De Rossi. We are certainly in for a great final which is still so tough to call but I'll try.

This is the only Kenyan Premiere League match on this week because it was supposed to be an FKF Cup weekend. However, my understanding is that FKF haven't organised anything-why am I not surprised. Anyway, Tusker will be playing their last match before they head to Tanzania for CECAFA duty. Tusker have a solid squad that beat Oserian 3-1 at Kasarani last weekend. Sammy Omollo is barely feeling the departure of Paul Were with newboy Joshua Oyoo in top form and getting goals for his new side. Tusker look sharp and being on top of the league with equal matches played, will be an added piece of motivation for them. Rangers meanwhile didn't look too bad against Chemelil on Monday. Yes the Rangers have bought retired players like former Gor Mahia captain Julius Owino, but it's like the old boys have so much to prove that they're playing well - at least they were okay on Monday. However will they stand the strength and skill of the champions? They'll give Tusker a run for their money but I believe the brewers will prevail.

Spain Vs Italy, tomorrow (9:45pm)

My Prediction: Spain 1-2 Italy

Tusker Vs Rangers, today (3pm)

My Prediction: Tusker 3-1 Rangers

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 The Star. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.