Paolo Di Canio has labelled Mario Balotelli an "egoist" and believes Italy
coach Cesare Prandelli should be punishing the forward rather than patting him on the back.
The Manchester City man netted twice against Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-final, as well as scoring with an overhead kick against Republic of Ireland in the group stages to finish level with a number of other players at the top of the goal-scoring chart with three goals.
However, Di Canio, who has a flamboyant edge himself, indicated that the 21-year-old is too self-centred and that he is not a team player.
"[Mario] Balotelli is just selfish," the Swindon Town manager told Sky Sport 24
. "He deserves a lot of slaps.
"Against Germany he did two good things [by scoring both goals], but in the end I saw a player who was just waiting to celebrate [at the final whistle]. Balotelli does not play for the team, only for himself.
"He is an egotist, who thinks the world revolves around him. For guys like Balotelli, he deserves lots of slaps rather than pats on the shoulder from Prandelli because he is young."
The 43-year-old then went on to praise Balotelli's strike partner Antonio Cassano, suggesting he was a key member of the Azzurri's
push to the showpiece decider at the Euros.
"[Cassano] was instrumental for Prandelli," He added. "He led the national team to the final."