Mario Balotelli will miss Italy’s semifinal vs. Spain in the Confederations Cup due to a strained thigh, handing the team another major injury complication before facing the World Cup holder. The Italian Football Federation made the announcement Sunday following medical tests on Balotelli’s left quadriceps.
The injury occurred during Italy’s 4-2 loss to Brazil on Saturday. The federation said that Balotelli would continue to be monitored in the hope that he can return for Italy’s next match either the final or the third-place game. Italy faces Spain on Thursday then the final and third-place games are scheduled for June 30. Balotelli has been the Azzurri’s most explosive player in the tournament so far.
He scored the winner in Italy’s 2-1 victory over Mexico, converted a penalty in the 4-3 win over Japan and set up a goal for Emanuele Giaccherini in the loss to Brazil.
Also, Balotelli has started as Italy’s lone true forward in each match thus far.