Balotelli can be Italy talisman

Mario Balotelli can fire Italy to the final of the World Cup, says injured Riccardo Montolivo.

The Azzurri skipper, ruled out of the tournament after breaking his leg on May 31, believes that Balotelli could be a talisman for his side.

"Balotelli can express his potential through consistency," the 29-year-old midfielder told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It has been hard for him to concentrate only on the pitch but the World Cup can be a great opportunity for Mario and a turning point in his career. He may prove a lot in this World Cup.

"There is the right mix of experienced and young players. The core of the group is from Euro 2012 and the new faces can bring something extra." - Wire Services.

World Cup