Mario Balotelli has been told he must grow up before he can expect a call-up for the Italy team as Manchester City reportedly investigate an alleged training-ground incident involving the striker.
According to a report in the Independent, the 20-year-old “threw at least one dart in the direction of youth-team players” at the club’s Carrington training ground. No one was believed to have been injured in the incident.
The Italy Football Federation president, Giancarlo Abete, is also concerned about Balotelli’s antics and has warned the forward after he 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.
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 Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has not given up on the player.
“He is a great champion of Italian football and will return to be a part of the national team,” the coach said. “He has extraordinary talent but has to be consistent with his performances. If that is the case, he will be taken into consideration.”