Italy coach Cesare Prandelli says AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli is important for local football.

Prandelli was asked whether the son of Ghanaian parents adopted as a baby by an Italian family was helping to fight the issue of racism in Italian football.

"Mario can set the example, even if he needs to improve his behaviour a little bit. It is always difficult to talk about Mario, because he can always do something weird from one moment to the next, but he is very motivated to shine in the Azzurri jersey.

"The squad is also supportive and these things can help him to grow up. He has extraordinary potential and we've always said that. We need to put him in the condition to do well, but he too has to contribute - which he is doing."