The Manchester City forward has long had disciplinary problems, but having been recalled to the Azzurri squad, he has vowed to be on his best behaviour in Poland and Ukraine
Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has revealed that enigmatic striker Mario Balotelli has promised him that he will not get sent off at Euro 2012.
The Azzurri coach dropped the Manchester City forward for the February friendly against the United States because of his agitated behaviour only to see the Palermo native see red in his club's Premier League clash with Arsenal in April.
In spite of that, Prandelli named a repentant Balotelli in his preliminary panel for Poland and Ukraine and has been buoyed by the player's vow to behave himself at the Euros.
"Mario will keep his word, I'm sure," the former Fiorentina coach told reporters on Thursday. "How much confidence do I have in him from zero to 100? One hundred."
Balotelli is one of six strikers in Prandelli's provisional squad and it is believed that one attacker will be axed when the coach names his squad on Monday afternoon. However, the Italy boss may decide to keep all of them.
“All six of the attackers deserve to be here,” he admitted. “They’ve really impressed me. They have quality, movement, they know how to attack and integrate with the rest of the team.
"They are modern attackers. If I keep all six in the squad then I’ll sacrifice a defender."
Prandelli all but admitted that the performances of Mattia Destro are responsible for his change of heart.
“I have some very interesting forward players with different characteristics," he mused. "And Destro is certainly wasting no time and he’s giving me a good feeling.”
Elsewhere, Prandelli admitted that Riccardo Montolivo is now in very real danger of missing the tournament with a thigh strain.
“My worries surround the three or four players who are recovering from injury," he explained. "Montolivo is my biggest concern. I know him well, he wants to recover and is on the mend, but I still have doubts.
“I want to leave for the tournament with certainties and no doubts. I don’t feel as if I can go to Euro 2012 with a few injured players.
“We know that we can start something important here. All of the players know that this will be an extraordinary opportunity for them.”
Italy, who have been drawn in the same group as defending champions Spain, Republic of Ireland and Croatia, enjoyed a 6-0 victory over Virtus Vecomp in a friendly game on Wednesday night.
Antonio Di Natale struck twice for the Azzurri, while Antonio Cassano, Sebastian Giovinco, Antonio Nocerino and Fabio Borini were also on target.