Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has said that Mario Balotelli will be in his squad for Brazil but he must show respect on and off the field if he wants to play.
AC Milan marksman Mario Balotelli seems assured of a place in Italy's World Cup squad, but Azzurri coach Cesare Prandelli will insist that he conducts himself properly and won't guarantee him a starting shirt.
The ex-Manchester City man has had a mixed season, netting 14 times for a struggling Milan side, but being criticised for his attitude on multiple occasions.
Balotelli's latest controversial moment came after Milan's 2-0 defeat against Roma when he launched a bitter verbal attack on the Italian media's pundits live on TV.
Some Italian journalists have suggested that Prandelli would do better to look to some of the nation's rising stars such as Torino's Ciro Immobile who currently leads the scoring chart in Serie A and veteran of 2006 Luca Toni, but the ex-Fiorentina boss seems to be willing to give Balotelli the benefit of the doubt.
However, Prandelli asserted that nobody is guaranteed to play in Brazil and certain codes of conduct must be obeyed.
"I agree with Clarence Seedorf when he says that Mario has improved and didn't raise his hands in protest at fouls against Roma, but after the game he accepted the responsibility of talking to reporters, it was like he couldn't resist it.
"Players must try to have respect for everyone. If you are always aggressive, everything becomes really complicated.
"When Mario plays for Italy he has never been a fixed starter. It has always been necessary to motivate him and then, when he has come in, he has done things the right way.
"Mario has scored 14 goals, which is no mean feat, but there will be a Plan B and maybe even a Plan C for that matter."
Italy's opening game of World Cup 2014 is against England in Manaus on the evening of June 14.