The Brazil legend has hailed the flamboyant Milan and Italy striker, suggesting the Azzurri could spring a surprise at the Confederations Cup this month
The Italy international made the headlines for all the wrong reasons earlier this month when he was sent off after being booked twice within four minutes in the goalless World Cup 2014 qualifier against Czech Republic, but Pele nonetheless speaks highly of the former Manchester City man.
"I really love Balotelli's style of play. He is a real striker," Pele told reporters.
"He uses his physicality to create space for himself and harass opponents."
Balotelli joined Milan from City in the winter transfer window and helped the San Siro giants to third spot in the table with 12 goals in 13 Serie A appearances.
Pele added that he fancies Italy's chances at this summer's Confederations Cup and insisted that the Azzurri are a force to be reckoned with.
"I like Italy because they always get the best out of themselves at the big occasions."
Cesare Prandelli's men meet Mexico in their first group game on June 16.