Italy chief Riva happy Man City's Balotelli opened up to media this week
Balotelli was questioned by journalists at the Azzurri's Coverciano training base where he covered a variety of subjects.
"I saw him one day at lunch and I told him that it was perhaps the right time for him to speak to the Press," the Italian national team official told Sky Sport Italia.
"I said that there was a good breeze in his direction and that there was a need for a new protagonist in the absence of Antonio Cassano.
"He said: 'If you say that this is the right time then I'll do it.'
"He's a very good kid with us. He laughs, jokes and plays. He's not one of those guys who causes trouble every now and again."