Italy coach Cesare Prandelli says Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli retains his confidence.

Balotelli launched a tirade against Irish fans after scoring in victory over the Republic of Ireland on Monday.

"I don't know if Balotelli had a problem with me," Azzurri tactician Prandelli stated on Tuesday. "I'll ask him.

"We've spoken about his non-celebrations after goals, but these things need to be spontaneous. Perhaps he struggles to show the joy he has inside.

"A lot depends on the moment, his mood, but he's generally a golden boy.

"I was happy for him after his goal, I had the courage to put him on, a calculated courage, but I want him to show his maximum potential.

"He has to live through these types of moments in order to become a champion. He has to accept criticism, accept a place on the bench and the fact that the team asks for even more from him.

"Nobody wants to do him any harm. He's the way he is, but he's not an outsider in the squad."