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The goalkeeper is full of praise for his teammate but believes he could 'get inside his head' and stop him if England was to play Italy

Joe Hart has labelled his Manchester City teammate Mario Balotelli as "one of the best" penalty takers he has ever faced, claiming his spot kicks are "almost impossible to stop".

Hart saved Scott Sinclair's penalty in City's 1-0 defeat to Swansea, but conceded that he never gets close to saving spot kicks taken by Balotelli in training.

The Italian scored his most recent penalty against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League as City were eliminated on away goals.

Hart told the club's official website: "Yeah, I hate to say it, he’s one of the best I’ve ever faced.

“He's got this mad ability where he doesn't need to look at the ball. If you don't move he kicks it in the corner; if you do move he kicks it the other way – it’s almost impossible to stop."

However the 24-year-old goalkeeper revealed that he fancies his chances against Balotelli if they were ever to meet in a competitive match.

He added: "I need to get inside his head and I reckon if England played Italy, I would be able to stop him!”

Mario Balotelli has scored every penalty he has taken for Manchester City including a high pressure last minute winner against Tottenham Hotspur.

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