Italy-Brazil: Prandelli hails 'extraordinary' Balotelli
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has hailed AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli as 'extraordinary' after the striker impressed in the Serie A since his move from Manchester City.
The Italian netted seven times in six games since making his move from the Premier League and Prandelli believes he will carry that form into the friendly with Brazil.
"His greatest achievement is now he is remaining focused for long stretches of the game," he told reporters on Monday. "It is extraordinary that he is continuing doing this at Milan.
"He is training better, with more attention to detail too because he knows he has to play that way in the national team."
Prandelli has also been enamoured with the performances of Torino’s Alessio Cerci, and the 25-year-old has earned his first call-up ahead of the nation’s friendly against Brazil and World Cup qualifier against Malta.
He added: "He has brought consistency to his good performances in recent years. [Torino coach Giampiero] Ventura thinks he is managing to convey [skill] for the right reasons.
"He is an interesting guy with a great shot and excellent attacking ability. We wanted to start a journey with him, as we are thinking of using two wingers on the flanks in the future."