Rome, June 21 (IANS) Italy manager Roberto Mancini revealed he has told striker Mario Balotelli multiple times that he is wasting a huge talent. Mancini, who had worked successfully with Balotelli and Manchester City and Inter Milan, had called the mercurial striker back to the national team in 2018.
Balotelli was part of Mancini's City squad that won the title over their crosstown rivals Manchester United in the stoppage time of the last game of the season in 2012, providing the crucial assist to Sergio Aguero.
"I care for him, regardless of all the things he does," Mancini told RAI Sport as per Goal.com. "I trained him when he was still just a kid, I played him and he was extraordinary for many years.
"My hope is that he will do something to change all this, as he's still only 30 years old and would be at the peak of his football maturity.
"I hope one day he wakes up and realises he's still throwing his talent away. Mario is an extraordinary lad, so kind and polite. I have explained to him many times that he is throwing his talent away, because his potential is remarkable."
Balotelli's stint at Italian club Brescia seems to be coming to an end after reports emerged that his contract will be terminated due to repeated absences from training.
Prior to Mancini's reign, Balotelli had not played for Italy since 2014. His stint at Brescia was expected to earn him a spot in the Italian squad for Euro 2020 but he has scored just five times in 19 appearances for the club.