Italy Tell "Super Mario" To Grow Up

The Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has been warned he must "mature" before he can return to the Italy team.

The Italy Football Federation president, Giancarlo Abete, sent the message after the 20-year-old was left out of the Azzurri's Euro 2012 qualifying win against Slovenia for breaching the team's code of conduct while competing for his club.

Balotelli, who was shown a red card for a reckless challenge in City's Europa League exit to Dynamo Kyiv earlier this month, is also out of Cesare Prandelli's squad for Tuesday's friendly against Ukraine.

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.

Meanwhile Prandelli has not given up on Balotelli. "He is a great champion of Italian football and will return to be a part of the national team. He has extraordinary talent but has to be consistent with his performances. If that is the case, he will be taken into consideration," the coach said.

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