Manchester City and Italy forward Mario Balotelli must “mature” before he can return to the national side

Manchester City’s enigmatic forward Mario Balotelli has been told that he must “mature” before returning to the Italian national side.

Mario Balotelli - still has a future with the Italian side if he can cut out the unnecessary antics

The 20 year-old hasn’t been far from controversy throughout his young career, both at Internazionale and now at Manchester City, and has been left out of the Italy squad for the recent Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia and Tuesday evening’s friendly against Ukraine for breaching the Azzurri’s code of conduct whilst playing for his club.

Now the Italy Football Federation president, Giancarlo Abete, has told the forward that he must rectify the problems that have dogged his short spell in English football.

Abete said: “Balotelli still has some problems and lacks continuity. He needs to mature and that has to be a personal choice.

“We hope he grows and that the focus is placed on his technical ability.”

If Balotelli can show more consistency and displace the temperamental streak that has shown signs of potentially marring his career, then Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will be more than happy to return the player and his mercurial talents back to the national squad.

“He is a great champion of Italian football and will return to be a part of the national team,” said Prandelli.

“He has extraordinary talent but has to be consistent with his performances. If that is the case, he will be taken into consideration.”

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About AA_Richards

Football writer & all-round pen for hire. Can tiki-taka or counter-attack at pace. Differentiates Athletic from Atletico. Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/AA_Richards
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