Tuesday 15 November 2016, 23:16

Bierhoff: Belotti is just what Italy needed

Oliver Bierhoff was impressed by Italy in their goalless draw with Germany and believes Andrea Belotti is just what they have been lacking. The 22-year-old hit the post and was a constant torment to the FIFA World Cup™ holders’ defence at the San Siro.

“Italy have been missing a forward for a while,” the Germany general manager told Rai Sport. “Belotti did very well and fortunately for us, he was unlucky when hitting the woodwork. I really liked his performance.

“You could see the two teams were still trying to find themselves, with young players looking to get experience. We gave the ball away too cheaply at times.

“If we had our World Cup winners with us, I think we’d have had more quality and experience than Italy, but I am impressed with the Azzurri. They’ve got a lot of talent, they play as a team and caused us problems. Belotti’s one to watch.”

Belotti has scored three goals in five internationals. The Torino player has netted eight times in ten appearances in Serie A this season.

Bierhoff hit 27 goals for Udinese in the 1997/98 Italian top flight, which saw him win the Capocannoniere award ahead of the likes of Ronaldo, Roberto Baggio, Gabriel Batistuta and Alessandro Del Piero.

Italy are second in Group G in European qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, behind Spain on goal difference and above Israel by a point.

Germany top Group C, already five points clear of nearest challengers Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan.