The Manchester City man netted twice against Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-final, as well as scoring with an overhead kick against Republic of Ireland in the group stages to finish level with a number of other players at the top of the goal-scoring chart with three goals.
However, Di Canio, who has a flamboyant edge himself, indicated that the 21-year-old is too self-centred and that he is not a team player.
"[Mario] Balotelli is just selfish," the Swindon Town manager told Sky Sport 24. "He deserves a lot of slaps.
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"He is an egotist, who thinks the world revolves around him. For guys like Balotelli, he deserves lots of slaps rather than pats on the shoulder from Prandelli because he is young."
The 43-year-old then went on to praise Balotelli's strike partner Antonio Cassano, suggesting he was a key member of the Azzurri's push to the showpiece decider at the Euros.
"[Cassano] was instrumental for Prandelli," He added. "He led the national team to the final."