Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci remains coy about being nominated as a mentor to Mario Balotelli in the build-up to Sunday's European Championship quarter-final against England.

Bonucci has found himself cast as Balotelli's minder since putting his hand over the striker's mouth during the Azzurri's decisive Group C win over Republic of Ireland. Balotelli looked to be shouting something at the Italy bench after responding to being dropped by scoring as a substitute in Monday's 2-0 win.

Asked if that made him an example for Balotelli to follow, Bonucci said: "We are two different people. Mario's spontaneous, a young guy. But we also had different experience. We had different lives, so you can't really compare players in this way."

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