Andrea Pirlo backs international team mate Mario Balotelli to shine in Brazil
Italy legend Andrea Pirlo has backed AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli to shine for Italy in the World Cup this summer as long as he concentrates on his football and nothing else.
Pirlo was speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport and revealed he likes the atmosphere in Brazil.
He also acknowledged how tough the group is which includes England, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
Pirlo said: "We know it's a difficult group, but I really like the atmosphere in Brazil.
"Do we depend on Mario Balotelli? Partly yes, but we are all important to the cause. Mario is old enough now, so he doesn't need advice any more.
"He just needs to focus on finding his form in the summer, concentrate on the football and leave the rest alone."
Focusing on football is easier said than done for Balotelli though and it is almost certain that the former Manchester City striker will grab the headlines in Brazil, it just depends if it is for success on the pitch or controversy.