AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli was full of pride after proving the matchwinner against England. Balotelli's header edged the World Cup opener 2-1 in Italy's favour.

"I am so happy, it was truly a unique emotion," he said.

"It was my first World Cup match and a wonderful sensation to experience. I dedicate the goal to my future wife and to my family."

Balotelli announced his engagement this week after popping the question to girlfriend Fanny Neguesha in Italy's Brazilian training camp.

"The climactic conditions were just terrible tonight in Manaus, as it was far too hot. Italy always suffer, but the important thing is to win.

"We have to play without getting ahead of ourselves, so we must keep our feet on the ground, otherwise we're going nowhere."

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