Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete has leaped to the defence of Mario Balotelli, insisting that the attacker has always been well behaved for Italy.
The 22-year-old had been linked with a move to AC Milan during the January transfer window, but Rossoneri owner Silvio Berlusconi poured cold water on the speculation when he described Balotelli as “a rotten apple”.
The Milan supremo also voiced concerns that the Manchester City player could unsettle the San Siro dressing room.
Abete, however, has vouched for the striker’s attitude when it comes to his national team duties.
“I talk about him as a player for the Nazionale and not in other contexts,” he told reporters.
“Mario has always behaved well with the Azzurri.
“We have a coach like Cesare Prandelli who has shown himself capable of dealing with the players on the field and off, punishing when necessary or getting the best out of them.”