Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has given Mario Balotelli a stark warning. “He risks throwing away his immense talent.”
The Italy starlet's career has been peppered with controversy, the latest costing him £100,000 after he was caught throwing darts at youth team players in training.
“Everyone has infinite patience with Mario, as in Manchester they also helped and really care about him,” Mancini told La Repubblica newspaper.
“I understand him, he is 20 years old and you can do dumb things at that age. But the moment has come for him to help himself and understand his mistakes.
“Otherwise he risks throwing away his immense talent. This year he has scored marvellous goals. He must focus on his quality and leave the rest alone, otherwise everyone will start targeting him, starting from the referees.”
Balotelli was also recently dropped from the Italy squad for breaking the code of ethics, having been sent off for violent conduct during Manchester City's Europa League tie.
Mancini also looked ahead to the Milan derby on Saturday evening, which could be a key crossroads in the Scudetto race.
“It's a shame Lucio and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be suspended. Milan lose a lot without Ibra, although Alexandre Pato, Robinho and Antonio Cassano can find the decisive moment of magic.
“There are many games to go, but if Milan win and go five points clear, then they'll also have the psychological advantage of having beaten their biggest rival.
“An Inter victory would also be very important, as beating Milan and overtaking them in the table after such a long chase would have enormous value. The only way this derby won't be decisive is if it ends in a draw.”