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Mario Balotelli has described his former team mate at Manchester City, David Silva, as “the slow Messi.”

The Frenchman got behind Spain at the current Euro 2016 saying that Silva is one of the reasons that no-one should write them off winning Euro 2016.

Balotelli said he was a huge fan of the star player maker known as Merlin to City supporters. The Italy international was speaking ahead of the encounter between Spain and the Czech Republic at the Euro 2016 on Monday.

He also congratulated Silva was in line to join the elitist players who have capped 100 games for the national team. He said:

“He's the slow Messi! That says everything.”

On Spain not being the third favourites to lift the trophy behind World Cup holders Germany and Euro 2016 hosts France, Balotelli said:

“That's what they said in the last Euros. Spain is always Spain. They're never going to be a weak opponent, ever. In the last Euros I remember they played with Fabregas up front for almost all the competition, and they won it. So I don't think it's a big deal for them.”

Baloteli himself is not playing at the tournament as he was left out of the Italy squad after a poor season on loan at AC Milan. Balotelli praised the attributes of Silva comparing his balance, touch and vision to that of Messi but added that Messi bettered him in pace. Silva had persistent ankle problems that made his form ordinary. He showed signs of returning to his best towards the end of the season but had a hamstring injury in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

The 30-year old player eventually made his mark helping Spain to a 1-0 win over the Czechs. Italy also went on to defeat their opponents, Belgium 2-0.

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