Italy chief advises Balotelli
Man City striker told his attitudes are 'not ideal at times'
By Nadia Carminati. Last Updated: 07/09/11 2:29pm
Balotelli: Backed to become a great success but he must develop his game 'on and off the field'
Mario Balotelli has been told he needs to become more mature if he is to fulfil his potential and become a key player for Italy.
Balotelli has had to deny claims that he was listening to his iPad whilst sitting on the substitutes' bench during Italy's Euro 2012 qualifier with the Faroe Islands on Friday.
The 21-year-old's behaviour on and off the field has regularly come under scrutiny throughout his career and Italian Football Association vice-president Demetrio Albertini admits he needs to be more careful.
However, Albertini is convinced Balotelli will learn those important lessons as his career develops and has backed the player to become a great success.
"We need to show Mario the luck he has and how he is in charge of his own future," former Italy international Albertini told Sky Sport Italia ahead of Italy's Euro 2012 clash against Slovenia in Florence on Tuesday night.
"He is a very nice lad who behaves well within the Italy group, but sometimes he mixes up football with the media aspect.
"We know he is a great champion, but his attitudes are not ideal at times.
"However, he has time on his side and he can continue to develop his game on and off the pitch."
Balotelli again started on the bench against Slovenia before coming on for the closing stages and playing an influential role as Giampaolo Pazzini secured a late 1-0 victory for Italy.
The result clinched Italy's qualification for Euro 2012 as Group C winners.