ITALY COACH CESARE Prandelli has called on Mario Balotelli to prove he can make the headlines for the right reasons at Euro 2012.
There were doubts over whether the Manchester City striker would be selected for next month’s tournament, following several incidents during the domestic season in England.
However, while indicating that he is aware of Balotelli’s ability to draw unnecessary attention to himself, the 54-year-old Prandelli has urged his star striker to silence his critics and let his football do the talking.
“In my opinion, he has to see it as an extraordinary occasion for him as it is for the national side,” Prandelli told FIFA’s official website.
It is a time for him to be written about for what he does on the pitch and not what he has done off it.”
The former Fiorentina manager was less optimistic when asked about leading his side to glory in Ukraine and Poland, but was keener to see his team re-establish themselves after their shock elimination from the World Cup 2010 at the group stage.
He added: “We are not built to win the European Championship, but I like to say that the Italians know how to surprise.
“I would like to show that the team has at least worked well and which is arriving at (Euro 2012) knowing it is experiencing a unique moment with a smile on its lips.”
Italy face Spain, Croatia and Ireland in Group C next month.