He told Gazzetta dello Sport: “Balotelli has the great gift of talent, as he knows how to treat the ball a certain way and find the net. In Brazil this is already enough for us to be won over by a player.
“However, it is not enough for what Balotelli could become. He mustn’t use his age or his talent as an excuse to do the odd stupid thing on the pitch.
“If a striker knows how to play, they are going to provoke him and give him a beating. I know full well, but if I had reacted every time someone kicked me... We have all done silly things in our lives, but we must realise when it’s time to stop. Count to five before responding.
“I am reminded of Adriano, although his case was very different to that of Balotelli. Adriano had incredible technique and physicality, so he could’ve done anything he wanted to on the pitch, but at a certain point he couldn’t take it anymore.
“The advice I give Balotelli is this: do not waste your talent. At the Maracanà you can tell who is a real player and who is bluffing, so I tell him not to be over-awed by the atmosphere. Playing there does give you goosebumps, as it’s the most beautiful stadium in the world. I’ve never been able to score a professional goal at the Maracanà.”