VIDEO: Italy players congratulate ex-Manchester City star on engagement

Mario Balotelli was congratulated by Italy teammates at a training session in Mangaratiba after the squad heard news of the striker's engagement.

Mario Balotelli’s Italy teammates congratulated the striker ahead of training upon hearing the news of his engagement to partner Fanny Neguesha.

Balotelli is currently thought to be battling with Torino’s Ciro Immobile to start upfront against England in the side’s opening World Cup game on Saturday and the ensuing session was no less competitive as a result.

Having impressed during Italy’s run to the Euro 2012 final, where they fell 4-0 to Spain, Balotelli is set to play in his first World Cup tournament and big things are expected of the enigmatic striker.

With 30 caps and 12 international goals, he has failed to score for the national team since October but his undeniable talent still makes him one of the top stars to watch in Brazil this summer.

After leaving Manchester City in January 2013 to return to Serie A with AC Milan, the club he supported as a boy, the 23-year-old could line up against former teammates Joe Hart and James Milner in Manaus on June 14 and manager Cesare Prandelli will have a big decision to make before the weekend.

Arguably just as well-known for his off-field antics as his performances on the pitch, Balotelli’s Milan endured a dreadful 2013-14, as they finished in eighth place in the league, though the mercurial attacker himself still managed 18 goals on the season.

With Italy enduring a poor run of friendly results going into the tournament, save a 5-3 win over Brazilian club side Fluminese on Sunday, a fully motivated Balotelli would be a huge bonus to the four-time world champions, as they look to best England, Costa Rica and Uruguay in Group D.

Perhaps marriage will finally settle the highly-touted player down and see him realise his undoubted potential.

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