Balotelli: England don’t have World Cup mentality

Italy striker Mario Balotelli has dismissed England’s chances of winning the World Cup as the Three Lions don’t have the experience, ESPN has reported.

The sides meet on June 14 in the first round of Group D games but Balotelli doesn’t expect England to pose a threat to the Azzurri in the latter stages of the competition. “I don’t look at England as a team that can win the World Cup,” the Milan striker said.

“They have some good players, but they are no real rivals for Italy,” he added. “I am not saying that Italy are favourites, but we have the mentality and experienced players to surprise people. I don’t think England have that.

“We have players who have won the World Cup. I don’t think England have a player who knows what it is like to play past the quarter-final.

“In the opening game, we have to respect England because it is important to get off to a good start. They have maybe two or three players who can hurt us, but we feel well prepared for the tournament and expect to start off with a win.”

Balotelli spent two-and-a-half years at Manchester city between the summer of 2010 and January 2013, scoring 30 goals in 80 games before returning to Italy with the Rossoneri. He won the 2011 FA Cup and 2012 Premier League during his time with City, and has 29 goals in 12 games for his country.

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