Mario Balotelli “desperately needs professional mental support,” according to the general secretary of world footballers union FIFPro.
The Manchester City and Italy striker has picked up four red cards in the last two seasons and received warnings he must change his behaviour if he is to avoid wasting his talent.
However, Theo van Seggelen, general secretary of FIFPro, believes that the 21-year-old might have to go even further.
“The behavior of Mario Balotelli is even for #FIFPro no longer acceptable. He desperately needs professional mental support,” wrote van Seggelen on his Twitter account.
“I think professional help is the only solution,” he told BBC Sport in a follow-up to that tweet.
“I’m optimistic. I think he is a good guy but he has to change his behaviour for two reasons. First he is a role model, but also he is playing in a team and he is playing against another team and he has to respect his colleagues.
“I think that we have to realise and conclude that, after all these incidents, my personal opinion is that he needs, really, professional help.
“I don't want to blame Manchester City because it is his own responsibility, but Manchester City [have] their responsibility. Within the pitch he has to behave himself like all the other players.
“But he has proved he cannot do it by himself and therefore I said he really needs professional help. You cannot always apologise afterwards and say, 'yes, I'm sorry', but he must realise that he has a problem.
“When he realises that, I'm sure - I'm convinced - that professional people can help him and he can solve his problem.”
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