Italy U21 coach Pierluigi Casiraghi is backing Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli to gatecrash Italy's World Cup squad.

Former Chelsea striker Casiraghi says Balotelli is ready for the senior Italy squad's trip to South Africa this summer.

"He is growing a great deal in terms of his behaviour and attitude," confirmed Under-21 boss Casiraghi after a 2-0 win over Hungary. "He's doing very well and yesterday when we went down to 10 men, he pitched in to help the team.

"Balotelli is a player who has nothing 'normal' about him. The future all depends on him.

"The World Cup is in his hands, his feet and his head."