Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli admits he's been lifted by the positive words of Italy coach Cesare Prandelli.

Prandelli said that he looks forward to coaching the 20-year-old when he gets back to full fitness following a knee operation.

"His words made me happy because it's great to hear that the national team boss counts on me," Balotelli told Il Corriere dello Sport.

"I will do everything possible to get myself ready and I am here to heal so I can return as soon as possible.

"For me La Nazionale is one of the most important things. It always has been. For the moment I have only played a friendly and I made only the first step, but I hope to be a protagonist at Euro 2012 and then the World Cup in 2014.

"I have been on holiday in Brazil and now I hope to deserve a call up for the World Cup.

"But first I want to do well with City, an adventure which I care about a lot."

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