Balotelli is beginning to mature, says Prandelli

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli believes that Mario Balotelli is showing signs of maturity as an international forward.

The explosive striker was on target as Italy extended their lead at the top of World Cup qualifying Group B by beating Denmark 3-1.

And his national boss is confident that the Manchester City player can be a huge weapon for Italy and urged the 22-year-old to keep up the good work.

“He has understood what he has to do for Italy,” Prandelli told reporters after Italy’s triumph over Morten Olsen’s side.

“I say that from now on the Balotelli in an Azzurri jersey has to be the one we saw at San Siro against the Danes.”

Balotelli has often been criticised for his lack of commitment or temperament, but Prandelli insists that he is not a liability.

“When I talk about Balotelli, I do not like the suggestion he is a gamble, but the moment has certainly come for him to take his share of responsibility in an Italy shirt,” he continued.

“I want a national team that is always targeting improvement, even if I’d like to have more time to try out some young players.”

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