Roberto Mancini is still of the opinion that Mario Balotelli, his former player at Manchester City, needs to calm down if he is to live up his burgeoning potential.

The pair endured a tumultuous relationship at The Etihad Stadium and at Inter Milan prior to that.

Both described their feelings for one another as 'father and son' like, however the duo were constantly getting into scrapes with each other and came to physical blows at a training session once.

Throughout their time together in Manchester, the Italian manager constantly called for his young countryman to calm down.

There were a string of high-profile misdemeanours and bizarre news stories about the now AC Milan striker.

And now, Mancini, who is still out of work following his summer dismissal from The Citizens, has reiterated those beliefs after the 23-year-old was banned for three matches for intimidating the referee following his side's defeat to Napoli where Balotelli also missed his first ever career penalty.

The 48-year-old told Gazzetta dello Sport : "There is only one way to end this and that is for Mario to learn to resist those anger attacks.

"He must break that spiral. If word spread that he no longer reacted to that, then he would not be a target.

"All the defenders in the world know that it only takes two kicks to see him (Balotelli) lose his mind and hence, they do that.

"In England I had to have words with some of the players that marked him.

"That happened on occasions where they were clearly provoking him.

"But more or less, everyone tries to have him sent off.

"I think Allegri is doing a good job, but it is not easy to coach Mario because when he is not blinded by anger, he is able to listen patiently to reprimands and then promises that he will not make the same mistake again.

"He is sincere but as soon as there is another outburst, you are back to square one."

Last January, enough was enough for Mancini whilst he was still in charge of City and he sold Balotelli to Milan, despite not having a replacement. 

Manchester City
AC Milan
Mario Balotelli