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The Roma midfielder and Manchester City forward had an argument on the pitch that continued down the tunnel and into the dressing room at half-time

A squabble between Mario Balotelli and Daniele De Rossi during Italy's Euro 2012 win over England was about to get out of hand before Antonio Cassano interfered and split up the two arguing players, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports.

The heated argument between the duo was sparked in the first half when De Rossi lashed out at Balotelli after the latter misplaced a cross, with the Manchester City star reacting angrily to the midfielder's comments.

The discussion then continued in the dressing room at half-time, and Cassano's interference was eventually needed to prevent the situation from getting out of hand.

Tension between De Rossi and Balotelli had supposedly surfaced following the pre-match press conference, when the Roma midfielder referred to his colleague as 'Little Mario', much to the annoyance of the forward.

Italy resume match action on Thursday when they take on Germany in Warsaw in the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

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