Balotelli told to grow up by Italy chief

28 March 2011 01:00

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

Italy Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete sent the message after Balotelli was left out of the Azzurri's Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia on Friday 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."

He added: "We hope he grows and that the focus is placed on his technical ability.

"He is a great champion of Italian football and will return to be a part of the national team."

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has not given up on Balotelli.

"He has extraordinary talent but has to be consistent with his performances," Prandelli said.

"If that is the case, he will be taken into consideration."

Source: PA