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NO DOUBT: Inter Milan's sensation Mario Balotelli. Pic. Unknown.
NO DOUBT: Inter Milan's sensation Mario Balotelli. Pic. Unknown.

Italian champions Inter Milan's teenage sensation Mario Balotelli has told La Gazzetta dello Sport that his first call-up to Italy colours cannot come soon enough.

Italian champions Inter Milan's teenage sensation Mario Balotelli has told La Gazzetta dello Sport that his first call-up to Italy colours cannot come soon enough.

The 17-year-old striker was born to Ghanaian parents and will celebrate his 18th birthday on 12 August.

On that day, he will receive his first Italian passport that should signal the start of his international career.

"I've been waiting for years for this 12 August and becoming an Italian citizen because I am Italian," he told the newspaper.

Despite being born in Sicily and adopted and brought up by Italian parents, the fact his blood parents were Ghanaian has meant Balotelli has had to wait until he was 18 before he could become a full Italian national.

Balotelli has long been seen as a future international.

He has turned down numerous requests by the Ghanaian Football Association (FA) to represent his birth parents' country, including for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ghana.

Instead he established himself in the Inter first-team squad, where his pace and power troubled defences and allowed him to score seven times.

Soon it will be international defences that he will hope to make suffer and no doubt he will use some of the pent-up frustration he feels at having to wait for his chance in a blue shirt.

"Italy is where I was born, where I studied and where I play football," the talented youngster said.

"My language is Italian and my family is Italian.

"It is only because of some absurd law that I have had to live for 18 years as a foreigner in my own country."

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