The AC Milan midfielder had nothing but positive words for the flamboyant attacker following his impressive winning display for the Azzurri on Tuesday nightRiccardo Montolivo has taken the time to praise Mario Balotelli in the wake of Italy's 3-1 World Cup qualification victory over Denmark at San Siro.
The Manchester City attacker helped the Azzurri to the full three points with a fine performance as he netted once and set up another, and the AC Milan midfielder was quick to acknowledge the 22-year-old's crucial contribution.
"Balotelli was simply magnificent after we had been reduced to 10 players [following Pablo Osvaldo's dismissal]," Montolivo told reporters.
"He kept the Denmark defence busy all by himself. He held up the ball very well, chased after long balls and worked incredibly hard for the team.
"If this was the real Mario Balotelli, then we have a bright future ahead of us."
Italy currently top Group B with 10 points from four games, while Denmark stand fifth with two points from three games.