Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had nothing but praise for Mario Balotelli’s performance in Thursday’s 2-2 friendly draw against Brazil.
Cesare Prandelli’s men fell two goals behind before the break, but a second-half strike from the 22-year-old helped them to a share of the spoils.
Buffon was impressed by Balotelli’s positive attitude as well as his fine goal.
“Balotelli was superb. I would also have said that if he hadn’t scored the equaliser,” Buffon told reporters.
“The way he sacrificed himself for the team and worked very hard was a great thing to see.
“For me, Balotelli has shown that he deserves the respect of his team-mates with this performance. He showed that he has the attitude needed for the national team.”
Italy will now start their preparations for the World Cup qualifier away against Malta on Tuesday.