KYIV: If Mario Balotelli scores one goal in the Euro 2012 final against Spain in the Olympic Stadium here then he will become the first Italian ever to finish as leading scorer in the European Championship finals.
Italy won the title in 1968 as hosts after a replay and then lost on a golden goal to France in the 2000 final.
In all that time no Italian has ever been the No1. Currently Balotelli is on three goals, along with Russia’s Alan Dzagoev, Portugal’s Ronaldo and Germany’s Mario Gomez, all of whom are now out of the tournament.
Balotelli dedicated both his two goals against Germany in Italy’s semi-final victory to Silvia, his adoptive mother.
The only ‘threat’ to him would appear to be Fernando Torres of Spain who has two goals, both of which he scored in the champions’ 4-0 group stage victory over the Irish Republic.
Euro top scorers:
1960 François Heutte (Fr), Valentin Ivanov, Viktor Ponedelnik (Sov), Milan Galic, Drazan Jerkovic (Yug) 2 each. 1964 Jesus Pereda (Sp), Ferenc Bene, Dezso Novak (Hun) 2 each. 1968 Dragan Dzajic (Yug) 2. 1972 Gerd Müller (Ger) 4. 1976 Dieter Müller (Ger) 4. 1980 Klaus Allofs (Ger) 3. 1984 Michel Platini (Fr) 9. 1988 Marco Van Basten (Hol) 5. 1992 Henrik Larsen (Swe), Karlheinz Riedle (Ger), Dennis Bergkamp (Hol), Tomas Brolin (Swe) 3 each. 1996 Alan Shearer (Eng) 5. 2000 Patrick Kluivert (Hol), Savo Milosevic (Yug) 5. 2004 Milan Baros (Cz) 5. 2008 David Villa (Sp) 4.
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