Mario Balotelli insists the prospect of facing Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t faze him ahead of his potential Brescia debut against Juventus.
Balotelli is back in the Serie A this season after a three-year spell in France ended in the summer. He’s signed up with hometown club Brescia, and could finally make his debut against none other than Ronaldo’s Juventus on Tuesday.
The delay for the 29-year-old’s debut was down to a four-match ban he received while at Marseille in Ligue 1.
But Balotelli’s suspension finally ended following Brescia’s 1-0 win at Udinese on Saturday. Therefore, the club’s star signing can make a timely return for the visit of Serie A champions Juventus.
“I think I worked harder in the last month and a half than I did in a decade of my career!” Balotelli told DAZN.
“Naturally, I don’t have match fitness, as I only played two friendlies, but I am in great shape. The last time I was at this weight, I was at Manchester City.
“Of course, my objective is to play for Italy at the Euros, but my main aim right now is to get into shape as quickly as possible for Brescia.”
The former Inter Milan and Manchester City striker isn’t fazed either by the prospect of taking on Ronaldo.
Balotelli added: “Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world and it’s good to face the best, but I will try to score and play the way I will in any game.
“His presence doesn’t really interest me.”
Even without Balotelli, however, Brescia have got off to a solid start in their first season back in the Serie A after an eight-year absence.
Eugenio Corini’s side have won two of their opening four league games to move up to 10th-place in the standings. Now they will face their first true test back in the Italian top-flight in Juventus.
The match at the Mario Rigamonti Stadium begins at 21:00 (CET) on Tuesday.