Balotelli was picked to start against for the Azzurri's Euro 2012 opener on Sunday, but the Manchester City striker failed to make an impact during the 1-1 draw.
The striker was substituted just before the hour mark after dallying on the ball when one-on-one with La Roja goalkeeper Iker Casillas, allowing Sergio Ramos to recover.
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To make matters worse, his replacement, Antonio Di Natale, broke the deadlock just minutes after coming on.
Abete, however, was pleased with the 21-year old's contribution despite failing to find the net.
"Balotelli made his contribution, but he must try to understand the reality of playing in a major international competition in which there is no forgiveness," Abete told Italian radio station Radio Anch'io Sport.
"He nevertheless put the Spanish defence under pressure. Balotelli will not allow himself to be disheartened."
Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli claimed that the striker's hesitancy was not the reason behind the substitution, claiming that the choice had already been made.
"I had already decided to bring on Di Natale before the error, so it was not a punishment," Prandelli said.
"I don't know what happened to Mario when he was alone in front of their goalkeeper.
"He probably had two options and in these cases a striker should only have one.
"He should have passed it to [Antonio] Cassano."
Italy face group leaders Croatia in their next group game on Thursday, which kicks off at 18:00CET.