Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is shocked by the death of former Italy U21 teammate Piermario Morosini.

The Udinese player collapsed and died in Saturday's Pescara-LivornoSerie B game at the age of 25.

"He was an absolutely lovely lad," Balotelli told news agency ANSA.

"It's a terrible tragedy that teaches us to reflect on, appreciate and respect life. I was shocked when I heard of Morosini's death. I couldn't believe it and hoped it was just some horrible prank.

"He was such a nice guy, really golden. This makes me reflect on many things in my life. It teaches me to appreciate life, respect it and experience it with caution and dignity."