Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is delighted with the progress of Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

The 22-year-old started for the Azzurri as they lost 2-1 to France on Wednesday.

"I am really happy with the steps being taken by Mario Balotelli," he told Sky Sport Italia. "He has realised he should not fall into provocations and his play has improved as a result.

"I think playing abroad has given Mario a different perspective - it is an important experience for him.

"It crucial for him and the national team that he plays and understands different tactics and cultures."