Milan striker Mario Balotelli would not be an easy character to work with, according to former Italy international Paolo Rossi.
Balotelli’s career is littered with bizarre incidents, including lighting fireworks in his own home during his time at Manchester City and being pictured in a Milan shirt in his Inter days.
But Rossi – a FIFA World Cup winner with Italy in 1982 – believes the 23-year-old’s talent more than makes up for his unpredictable behaviour, and has tipped him to shine at this year’s tournament in Brazil.
“For sure, it’s not an easy personality,” he told Perform. “It’s the kind of players you have to accept the way they are.
“You can expect from them incredible things, because they are talented, but sometimes not rational.
“But we need someone like him, because to win something important you need the great players. With the national team he’s always done well, even with his behaviour.
“I think little by little he’s getting more and more mature. He went through difficult situations and I think this helped him to mature. He’s not a child anymore.
“In my opinion he’s got a lot to give. From him we expect a lot because everyone says he’s talented and maybe he still has to give the best of himself perhaps in terms of consistency.
“He’s an important player for the national team and we have to hang on to him.”
Italy have been drawn in Group D with Uruguay, England and Costa Rica for Brazil 2014.