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ESPN FC  By ESPN

#WorldCupRank: No. 20 Mario Balotelli

« Previous: No. 21, Diego Costa | Next: No. 19, Radamel Falcao »

No. 20 Mario Balotelli, AC Milan/Italy

Why he's ranked: This maverick striker tends to make as many headlines off the pitch as on it, and his reputation for being something of a wild child overshadows his outrageous talents that could put him onto the A-list of the game's modern strikers if he matures in the coming years. Impressive in the Euro 2012 finals, now this AC Milan hit man gets his first crack at World Cup glory.

The polarising Mario Balotelli always has the ability to change a match quickly.
The polarising Mario Balotelli always has the ability to change a match quickly.

Key stat: Balotelli led the Italian Serie A this season with 152 total shots taken, 26 more than second-place Carlos Tevez.

What the experts say: "He has a bomb of a right foot, yet possesses a lot of technique. Is crucial to the Azzurri." - Gustavo Hofman, ESPN Brasil

"His fitness is a big question mark. But in good condition, Balotelli is perhaps the most complete striker in the world: Great with the ball in the field, great with the ball in the air." - Paulo Cobos, ESPN Brasil

Other articles:
- ESPN FC Blogs: Italy
- The countdown: Our Top 50 players of the World Cup

« Previous: No. 21, Diego Costa | Next: No. 19, Radamel Falcao »

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