Rome: Italy's press on Friday celebrated the national side's 2-1 Euro 2012 semi-final victory against Germany and in particular the double by "stratospheric" striker Mario Balotelli.
"A strong Italy and a stratospheric Balotelli sunk Germany and took Italy to seventh heaven," the Corrierre dello sport said in its online edition, reminding readers that Germany had been favourites to win Thursday's tie in Warsaw, Poland.
The daily added that the Azzurri had put in a "mind-blowing performance" while Balotelli's two first-half goals were "splendid".
Gazzetta.it, in particular, hailed a masterful performance from midfield playmaker and official man of the match Andrea Pirlo, saying that he "directed operations and was, as usual, the lynchpin of the side".
La Repubblica called the match "a masterpiece", particularly in the "perfect" first-half "which showed everyone who thought that Balotelli couldn't play at centre-forward or that (coach Cesare) Prandelli had problems that they were wrong".