Tuesday September 6 2011
Albertini: 'Balotelli must grow up'

FIGC Vice-President Demetrio Albertini warns Mario Balotelli “his future depends exclusively on him. He needs to grow up.”

The Italy and Manchester City striker has run into numerous problems over the years due to a poor attitude in training and during games.

His introduction in Friday's 1-0 win over the Faroe Islands was delayed as he seemed to be warming up too sluggishly and was reportedly using his iPad on the bench.

“We often try to make him understand how lucky he is in being one of those players who can decide his own future,” said Federation Vice-President Albertini.

“A talent like Mario sometimes has to be coddled, at other times told off, but the most important thing is to let him know his future depends exclusively on him.

“He is a lad who needs to grow up, both in sporting and personality terms. Time is on his side. We want him to contribute 100 per cent and I'm sure he will give us that in future.”

Italy welcome Slovenia to the Stadio Franchi in Florence this evening and a win would mathematically qualify them for Euro 2012.

“This Nazionale was born of change, seeing as so many of the 2006 world champions had reached a certain age.

“Cesare Prandelli did a great job. He gave stability to the players, so they could gain international experience, and after a year achieved good performances and excellent results.”

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