The Italian manager says his compatriot had a good campaign at Euro 2012, and that if he continues to play well and improve his behavior he can also grow as a player
The striker had a good campaign at Euro 2012, scoring three goals, as Italy reached the final of the competition, and Mancini says that he can be even better at his job if he continues to improve his behavior.
"I think that every time he plays well, like he did at the Euros, it's important for him because it can help him with his behavior," Mancini told reporters. "Then hopefully he can understand that, if he improves his behavior, he can be better at his job. With the national team, he is an important player, but for us also he's an important player."
Mancini says that Balotelli has the skill to succeed, but it "depends on him."
"We spent a lot of money on him, he's young and I think he can have a big future at Manchester City. It all depends on him, if he continues [to mature] in this way. He has everything," the coach said. "If he understands he can't do what he did last season against Arsenal and Tottenham [where the striker was sent off in both games] and thinks only to play football, he can do really well."
Mancini also hailed the 21-year-old's versatility, claiming that of all the strikers at the Etihad Stadium, Balotelli is able to play in more roles than the others.
"Mario is lucky because he is young with his body and his attitude," Mancini continued. "He can play as a forward or like a winger. So I think he can play in every position. Maybe, for me though, he is better like a striker.
"He's played in that position a lot of times. Sometimes we play with him in front and Yaya Toure behind, like we did last season.
"With Sergio Aguero it's different, because he likes to play nearer the penalty box. We have four strikers and, of these four strikers, only Mario can play wide."