FIGC president Giancarlo Abete has joined those calling for Italy coach Marcello Lippi to include Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli in his World Cup squad.

Balotelli has been impressive for Inter in recent weeks.

Abete said: "Balotelli is mature and Lippi can count on him, but it's up to him to decide.

"I am not a coach, but a director who respects the role of the coach. The judgement is up to him, just as it is up to Mourinho when Balotelli is with Inter.

"The player's quality isn't up for discussion. Yesterday I signaled that he sacrificed a lot with the Under-21s. He put himself at the service of the team for the entire match.

"Mario did well even if there wasn't a victory. I hope in general that Lippi has a difficult decision in May with players who are healthy and in form."