Italy boss Cesare Prandelli recently remarked to reporters that Balotelli is finally maturing into a world-class striker.

The 22-year-old’s career has been tinged with antics on and off the field. His short employment at Manchester City was a tumultuous one with many bust-ups with fellow countryman and manager, Roberto Mancini.

He missed 11 games in his last season for the Sky Blues because of suspensions and his disciplinary record leaves much to be desired.  His international career hasn’t been a smooth ride either and has been as erratic as his spell at Manchester City.

The temperamental Italian’s off-the-field life was also plagued with controversial incidents, the most memorable of which perhaps being the occasion when he set his own house on fire by setting off fireworks in the bathroom.

It was never doubted that the young man possesses buckets full of talent, but his bad attitude and unpredictable personality hampered his potential and made it impossible for managers and fellow players to put up with him.

However, after returning to his favoured club AC Milan this season, it seems that the young striker has found some stability and is growing into a mature footballer.

After the Italian hit man scored for his country in last week’s clash with Brazil to come back from 2-0 down to end the game in a 2-2 draw. 

Prandelli said: “He has the potential to be among the best five in the world but to do that he needs a lot of continuity, as he is having at the moment."

Italy and Milan teammate Stephan El Shaarawy also believes Balotelli is on the right track, telling reporters: “I’m happy he’s growing up, as a player and as a man.

“We are together practically all the time and I see him a lot more mature,” the 20-year-old said about Balotelli.

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