Cassano warns Super Mario

AC Milan forward says Balotelli 'needs to mature'

Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano: The pair are likley starters against Spain

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Antonio Cassano has warned Mario Balotelli to keep his cool and do some growing up if he wants to become the best player in the world.

The Manchester City marksman has been the revelation of Euro 2012, helping Italy reach the final with a brace against Germany in the semi-final.

Balotelli and the Azzurri now stand in the way of Spain retaining their Euro crown and becoming the first team in history to win three major championships in a row.

AC Milan striker Cassano believes if the 21-year-old can control his temperament and volatile personality, on and off the field, then his future remains in his own hands.

He told The Sun on Sunday: "Balotelli is young and still needs to mature. He is also emotive and sometimes his temperament can be his own worst enemy.

"But he has fire in his stomach and it makes him strong, so you have to be careful how you handle him.

"To tame him would be wrong, though he has to learn to control his emotions and direct them in a positive way. Only he can decide whether he wants it all or whether it all goes to waste. I have great empathy with him and know how hard it is, especially when occasionally you think the whole world is against you.

"But at the moment Balotelli is on top of the world, very focused and dreaming of making Italy champions.

"As a strike partnership we are working very well together and giving Italy self-respect in difficult times."