AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has jumped to the defence of Mario Balotelli.

The striker has come under fresh criticism in recent weeks.

"Mario Balotelli is only 24 years old and this is his first full season as a first choice player. It's not easy for him, as there's a different responsibility to when he was at Inter or Manchester City. He'll have a great World Cup and has a lot to learn, as everyone does," said Allegri.