1 – 1 Italy have prevailed 3-1 in the first-leg of Euro 2012 as they look to secure a place at next summer’s tournament in France.

The last time Italy reached the quarter-finals of the tournament was in the 2010-11 campaign, with that run coming under then coach Maurizio Sarri, who is now at Juventus.

“It’s a dream come true to play in France,” the midfielder Mario Balotelli told reporters.

“It’s the greatest tournament in the world, and it’s my first time in France, and I hope I’ll be able to be part of it.”

The Italians are playing very well.

They played well in the last game against Slovakia and they are very well prepared for this game.

“We are all confident of the result.

It will be a very important game for us.

The atmosphere in Paris is great and the fans are very important.”

Italy have lost just once in their last eight European outings and will be looking to add to their winless run in France with another victory in the next four games.

“Our players are really motivated and ready for this,” Balotelli said.

“We all know the atmosphere in the stadium.

We have the opportunity to win this game and to go through the knockout stages in France.”

Italy, who face Croatia on Tuesday in the second leg of the first round, lead Group A with four points after beating Portugal 2-0 in the previous round.