Italy coach Cesare Prandelli insists Mario Balotelli has all the attributes to become a leading striker for his country alongside his new team-mate Stephan El Shaarawy, but the former Manchester City man must show the right attitude.
Balotelli completed a move back to Italy to join AC Milan, who already have El Shaarawy in their ranks, and Prandelli believes this promising partnership for the Rossoneri could be replicated for Italy, but the coach is adamant the 22-year-old must concentrate on matters on the pitch.
“His future depends on him and I think he has all the possibilities to make a mark in our Italy,” he told reporters.
“He must perform on the big stage because he has huge potential and I hope we do see it soon.
“He can make a difference, but depends it on him and how he trains. For my part, there will always be a willingness to believe in him.”
On the partnership between Balotelli and El Shaarawy, Prandelli added: “Selfishly, I’m glad they play together in a club because they have great potential.
“Against France they played together in an interesting way and together in Milan they can improve because they are coached by [Massimiliano] Allegri.
“I hope they can lead us to the next World Cup where we want to do well and get a winning mentality.”
Italy face Netherlands in a friendly on February 6.