'Media magnet' Balotelli must follow rules – Allegri

The Italian is concerned that the 23-year-old is struggling to manage his life as a professional footballer and a celebrity off the pitch

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has told Mario Balotelli he must follow his rules after hinting that he is worried over his forward’s ability to handle life in the public eye.

The 23-year-old signed for the Rossoneri in January after a troubled end to his time with Manchester City, in which he endured a running dispute with coach Roberto Mancini.

Balotelli looked to have turned over a new leaf as he scored 12 goals between January and the end of last season but his sending off in Milan’s 2-1 defeat to Napoli resulted in a three-match ban following an altercation with the referee in the aftermath of the game.

He said: “Balotelli is a media magnet as well as a great player and so he has to try and manage his life as best he can. He’s 23-years-old and he has to understand quickly that he’s not just another 23 year old and certain sacrifices have to made, just as when he’s in training.

“It’s not possible to prohibit Twitter and the club has no big problems with these things. But there have to rules that are followed by everyone.

The Italy international was still called up to the national side by coach Cesare Prandelli for the 2-2 draw with Armenia on Tuesday, despite his usual insistence on refusing to select players who are absent for their clubs through injury and suspension.

However, Balotelli’s appearance in the Azzurri‘s final World Cup qualifier looks to have come at a cost after he pulled out of training with an injury ahead of Saturday’s clash with Udinese.

Allegri continued: “He pulled out of training yesterday because of a pain in his thigh. We have a lot of faith in the national side and if they let him play, they must have him ready.”

Milan have won just two of their opening seven Serie A games and lie in 12th position ahead of the weekend.

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