Probably. I don't know what there is not to like about him. The most naturally talented and gifted player in the tourney along with Iniesta. It's a pleasure just watching him maneuver around a football pitch, always picking the right passes.
I gotta add that I have never seen Balotelli as good as he was today. Ever. This game made me believe he has what it takes to truly make it to superstar quality, really become one of the greats. He's still barking mad, but so was Maradona and Cantona.
You're absolutely right... My criticism with Bolatelli early on in the tourny was that he lacked confidence to finish and in himself, to finish big play. He really shined today at the expense of two huge mistakes in the Germany D.
We just can't beat Italy. Having Podolksi and Gomez play in the first half certainly didn't help. Kroos had one duty, step on Pirlo's toes but before the frist goal he just stopped chasing him and what happens? Come on, dude, what did you expect? Boateng looked bad too, especially against Cassano (which is to be expected) and Schweinsteiger seemed like he had shit stuck to his shoes all night.
At least now everybody knows why we call Bayern "Handball Club Munich". Everyone just keeps passing the ball around the opponent's half without really doing anything, then they try to get the ball to Gomez and hope he does something. That's exactly what happened in the first half. All the Bayern players just forgot it's not Bayern/Chelsea anymore.
I was thinking Low would have started Klose again (like in the Greece game) to get that added edge of experience. I rewatched the game again and Italy played out their game plan to perfection. Frustrate the Germans in the midfield, that's where their magic starts. Cut the flanks off which the Germans are lethal at crosses back in. Pirlo was on point as well.
The statistics show a bit different than the outcome, with Germany having slightly more chances, possession and a ton more corners, but Italy ceased the day when they were called apon. Gigi also made a few spectacular saves, that's why he's #1.
The Germans will stay strong for the next 2-3 tourny's, it was just a case of a few lapses in judgement. It was like the young apprentice vs. the older master today, Italy frustrated Germany and played very smart.
My hat goes off to the Italians whom proved very resilient when put to the test.