Register Login Scores

Golden Boot Contender

Golden Boot Contenders: Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli has announced that the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be the tournament where he will leave his mark on international stage.

In our new Golden Boot Contender feature Soccer Laduma looks at the players to compete for the Golden Boot at the World Cup in Brazil. Every Tuesday, over the next nine weeks, we will introduce one potential top scorer, who could lead his country far into the later stages of the tournament.

Balotelli is experiencing an average season with AC Milan. While his club struggles to reach the upper half of the table, the 23-year-old has scored 13 goals.

He made his national team debut in Italy's first match after the 2010 World Cup and has scored 12 goals in 29 appearances since.

The outspoken forward was Italy’s best striker in their World Cup qualification, scoring five goals but it was the semi-final against at the EURO 2012 where he proved what he is capable of.

Whilst he had been dropped to the bench after two disappointing opening matches at the competition, he scored his first international goal at a major tournament against Republic of Ireland.

His big moment came in the semi-final when he scored twice in the first 40 minutes against Germany to give his country a 2-0 lead over the tournament favourites. Italy won the game 2-1 and progressed to the final where they met Spain.

However, Balotelli failed to repeat his performace from the semi-final and could not prevent the 4-0 thrashing by the World Cup holders.

At the 2013 Confederations Cup, he scored in Italy’s first two victories over Mexico and Japan, but couldn’t impact their 4-2 defeat to hosts Brazil in their final group match. Balotelli suffered a thigh injury prior to the semi-final which kept him out of the rest of the competition.

The AC Milan forward himself is confident that he can lead Italy to a successful World Cup campaign in Brazil and far past the group stage with Uruguay, England and Costa Rica.

"Brazil is a perfect time for me to establish myself as number one striker in the world," Balotell recently told The Sun.

"The World Cup is where I want to make my mark. The best players always perform on the biggest stages."

Italy are well-known to be strong at international tournaments and if they were to challenge for their fifth World Cup title in Brazil, Balotelli would have to show his brilliance on a more regular basis.

Do you believe Mario Balotelli can be one of the Golden Boot contenders in Brazil? Have your say in the comment section below.

Balotelli: I Would Play In Goal To Win CL

Balotelli: Ronaldo Almost Perfect As A Footballer

Can Suarez And Uruguay Spoil Brazil's Party?

189 comments

Top 5

Chiefs Now In Two Minds About Gamildien

68 Jun 15, 2021 09:50 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

Players Who Lied About Their Age

39 Jun 04, 2021 07:26 PM in World News

Ex-Chiefs Player To Make R25M Move

29 Jun 14, 2021 11:28 AM in Siyagobhoza

The 10 Highest-Paid Players Over Past Year, African Superstar Features

Jun 02, 2021 09:31 AM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Setlhodi Lashes Out At Hunt For Chiefs Failure

162 Jun 14, 2021 11:52 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

8 Soldiers Left Behind As Chiefs Prepare For War

112 Jun 17, 2021 04:38 PM in Soccer 6

Chiefs Now In Two Minds About Gamildien

68 Jun 15, 2021 09:50 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

Ramos Names Two Clubs He Won't Join After Real Exit

11 Jun 18, 2021 09:26 AM in LaLiga

Secret Agent Comments On Chiefs Overhaul

33 Jun 17, 2021 02:06 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

Buchanan Finds New Club

36 Jun 14, 2021 12:52 PM in PSL

Another Coach Linked To Bucs Job

38 Jun 14, 2021 10:40 AM in Orlando Pirates

The Highest-Paid African Stars In The EPL

19 Feb 02, 2021 07:14 PM in English Premier League

Star Striker’s Future Decided

12 Jun 14, 2021 08:50 AM in PSL

12 Players Who Went Bankrupt

23 Dec 07, 2020 12:34 PM in World News

One-Year Turkish Deal For SA Striker?

1 Jun 14, 2021 03:55 PM in Siyagobhoza