Mario Balotelli hopes France win Euro 2016 for "friend" Paul Pogba

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Opinion is entirely divided regarding who will emerge victorious out of France and Germany in Thursday night's Euro 2016 semi-final.

The European duo were both heavy favourites to win heading into the tournament and now find themselves one game away from facing Portugal in the final.

France, spearheaded by Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba, brushed aside Iceland in the quarter-finals to progress while Mesut Ozil's Germany were forced to penalties by Italy.


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It really is anyone's guess who will secure victory but for Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, he's very much hoping it's Didier Deschamps' side - because of Pogba.

The Italian wasn't picked for his national side yet that hasn't stopped him from having a say.

Balotelli told Goal: "Objectively, yes [Germany are favourites], but subjectively I hope France win because I want my friend Pogba to win.

"Germany in 2012 were a little bit stronger than this current Germany side but Germany are always a strong team.

"I speak of little things, details. The team we faced in 2012 looked more compact but also this Germany are really good."

Indeed, it was Balotelli's brace against Joachim Low's side four years that not only fired Italy into Euro 2012's final but saw the striker use his 'hulk' celebration for the first time.

The 25-year-old continued to wax lyrical about France and West Ham star Dimitri Payet.

"He played well in this tournament," he added. "He has been decisive since the first game.

"But just a match can change Euro history so we have to wait for the last matches."

Where Balotelli's Liverpool career is concerned, it would seem his future lies away from Anfield amidst rumours he has been told to find a new club.

Italian outfit Sampdoria are keen to offer the enigmatic striker an escape route, with club president Massimo Ferrero a big fan.

He told Corrire dello Sport: "Balotelli is Balotelli's worst enemy. Like [Antonio] Cassano is Cassano's worst enemy.

"He's a great player whose been stuck back in the 1960s.

"He could relaunch his career at a passionate club like ours, but he's still a bit confused. I've tried to tell him to come to Samp because he's a great talent."

A move away might be Balotelli's best option to rebuild his career following a frustrating two years at Liverpool, with first-team football unlikely under Jurgen Klopp.

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Paul Pogba
Germany Football
Premier League
Mario Balotelli
Euro 2016

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