Mario Balotelli fired Italy into the EURO 2012 final - then dedicated his brace to adopted mum.
Balotelli's first-half brace was enough to secure a 2-1 win over
And at the final whistle, the Manchester City star embraced Silvia, who brought him up from the age of two after he was born in
"After the game, when I went to my mum I said 'these goals are for you'," he said.
"I waited for this moment for so long and I wanted to make my mum happy.
"Tonight was the most beautiful of my life - but I hope that this Sunday is even better."
Balotelli broke the deadlock when he rose to power home
His second was a belter, striding clear of the
It took Balotelli to three goals for the tournament and he is now favourite to win the coveted
"In the final I hope to make it four," he said.
"I will try to score another goal but in football you can do that a lot and still never score.
"Sometimes you need a bit of luck."
Balotelli was quick to heap praise on his team-mates for their contribution to his performance, which surprisingly was not enough to secure the man-of-the-match prize, which went to playmaker
"These two goals are really important," he said.
"The first one was a really amazing pass from
"The second one was a great pass from Montolivo, normally I shoot in the other corner but I went for the near post."
Now it must go one better if it is to prevent Balotelli's Manchester City team-mate
Balotelli also earned the praise of
"He was excellent, like the entire team," said Prandelli.
"I really believe that a team needs to have an idea of the way they play, and he really subscribed to this playing style.
"He ran into space high up the pitch, was always available, and put in a very good performance this evening."
UEFA president Michel Platini said preparations for Euro 2016 were "progressing well" after a meeting of the organising committee in Lille.