AS Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi insists Italy teammate Mario Balotelli isn't hard work.

De Rossi was quick to defend the Manchester City striker on Wednesday, insisting there was no need to give him any special treatment.

"Mario is not a difficult character at all," he said.

"We treat him as one of the squad, nothing more, nothing less.

"There is no need for us to have a word with him, that is up to the coach, and we don't need to make any extra effort with him.

"On Sunday I shouted at him at half-time but that has happened thousands of times in my career with players.

"But there are no problems with him and there have never been any. He is a very good player."