The Italian manager says his compatriot had a good campaign at Euro 2012, and that if he continues to play well and improve his behaviour he can also grow as a player
The striker had a good campaign at Euro 2012, scoring three goals, as Italy reached the final of the competition, and Mancini says that he can be even better at his job if he continues to improve his behaviour.
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"I think Mario did well in the Euros," Mancini told reporters. "I think he played well and I hope those performances for Italy can help him to improve.
"Mario is one of the best strikers in Italy because we don't have, at the moment, another striker like him.
"I think that every time he plays well, like he did at the Euros, it's important for him because it can help him with his behaviour.
"Then hopefully he can understand that, if he improves his behaviour, he can be better at his job. With the national team, he is an important player, but for us also he's an important player.
"We spent a lot of money on him, he's young and I think he can have a big future at Manchester City. It all depends on him, if he continues [to mature] in this way. He has everything.
"If he understands he can't do what he did last season against Arsenal and Tottenham [where the striker was sent off in both games] and thinks only to play football, he can do really well."
Mancini also hailed the 21-year-old's versatility, claiming that of all the strikers at the Etihad Stadium, Balotelli is able to play in more roles than the others.
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"He's played in that position a lot of times. Sometimes we play with him in front and Yaya Toure behind, like we did last season.
"With Sergio Aguero it's different, because he likes to play nearer the penalty box. We have four strikers and, of these four strikers, only Mario can play wide."