The former Fiorentina boss was full of praise for the Rossoneri forward, whose impressive club displays this season have seen him force his way into the Azzurri reckoning
The 20-year-old currently leads the Serie A scoring charts with 10 goals after a fine personal start to the season, despite the poor collective form of Massimiliano Allegri's side.
And Prandelli, who saw the young Rossonero score his first Azzurri goal against France in a mid-November friendly, believes El Shaarawy cannot be compared to former greats due to his contemporary style.
"He is a modern striker who therefore cannot be compared to those of the past," Prandelli told Corriere della Sera.
"Forwards used to play in a different way and did not come back to help out in defence, unlike what happens now.
"El Shaarawy has great qualities, including physical in terms of his pace and stamina. He is also a generous guy and this has allowed him to win over the fans."
Milan currently sit ninth in the Italian top flight following Sunday's win over champions Juventus, and can leapfrog Catania with a victory when the two sides meet on Friday.