Former AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli has backed France to lift the Euro 2016 trophy.
France are the favourites to lift the trophy after seeing off former top favourites Germany on Thursday in an epic semi final match.
Balotelli backed his friend Paul Pogba to do wonders in the game against Portugal when they meet on Sunday at the final. The player who acknowledged Germany to be favourites backed the team to repeat their success when they play in the final.
France faced Germany in the semi final in Marseille for the chance to play Portugal, who had defeated Wales on Wednesday in the other semi final game, in the final game of the tournament. The game ended 2-0 in favour of France as two goals from Man of the Match Antoine Greizmann sunk the German machines.
The player, who was released from his loan to AC Milan from Liverpool, had faced Germany before when they played at the semi final four years ago at the Euro 2012. The striker scored two goals as Italy went past the Germans. Balotelli told Goal before the semi final match: “Objectively, yes [Germany are favourites], but subjectively I hope France win because I want my friend Pogba to win. Germany in 2012 were a little bit stronger than this current Germany side but Germany are always a strong team.”
Balotelli opined that the German team of the last Euro tournament seemed more compact than the current crop playing in France. “I speak of little things, details. The team we faced in 2012 looked more compact but also this Germany are really good,” he said.
It seemed his feeling was right as France defeated a weakened German team rather comfortably. Mats Hummels missed the game as he was suspended, having received two successive yellow cards. Mario Gomez was out injured and then injury hit the team again during the game as Jerome Boateng was pulled out. His replacement Shkodan Mustafi made the mistake that led to the second goal, effectively killing the fighting spirit of the Germans after the first half goal from the penalty spot.