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The national team coach has tipped the Manchester City striker to reach the top of the game, just as long as he shows enough desire on the pitch to reach his goals

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli believes Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has the potential to become one of the top five players in the world.

The 22-year-old has struggled for the Premier League champions this season, notching just one goal in 14 appearances, while he was also involved in a training ground bust-up with manager Roberto Mancini at the beginning of January.

Balotelli has been linked with a move back to his homeland, with AC Milan and former club Inter linked - and Prandelli has tipped the youngster to progress to the top of the game.

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"He's a guy who is carrying a very heavy burden for someone of his age. There's his image, the fame, his complicated background, and wearing the jersey of the national team.

"If he's able to turn all this into the motivation to give his all for the full 90 minutes every game, he can become one of the top five players in the world. I think that he can achieve this."

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