Germany international Jerome Boateng has insisted ahead of Friday's international friendly against Italy that he does not fear Mario Balotelli.
The AC Milan striker netted twice in the Euro 2012 semi-final between the two sides to lead the Azzurri to a stirring 2-1 win, yet Boateng is confident that he has what it takes to stop Balotelli this time around.
"He eliminated us at Euro 2012, but that does not mean that I fear him," the Bayern Munich defender told Bild.
"He is one of the best strikers around in Europe. It's very hard to stop him when he's 100 per cent. But that's a nice challenge for our defence and for me personally.
"It's impossible to keep a striker like Balotelli quiet for the full 90 minutes, but it's up to me to make sure he does not make an impact. I want to make things hard for him."
Friday's friendly at San Siro is scheduled to kick off at 20:45CET.