Alessandro Del Piero: 'Mario Balotelli can show maturity at World Cup'

Italy's Mario Balotelli celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Czech Republic during their World Cup qualifier on September 10, 2013
Former Italy striker Alessandro Del Piero believes that Mario Balotelli has the chance to show how much he has matured at the World Cup.

Former Italy striker Alessandro Del Piero has claimed that Mario Balotelli has the chance to show his maturity at the World Cup.

The controversial forward, 23, is expected to start for the Azzurri tonight when they begin their campaign against England in Manaus.

While Balotelli has been known for making as many headlines off the pitch as on it, Del Piero believes that he can prove how much he has grown up at the tournament.

"Mario is a very young talent," Del Piero told BBC Sport. "If he finds the right equilibrium this can be an important moment for him, not just as a player, but as a man. He can change the way the public and media think about him."

Balotelli has scored 12 goals in 30 appearances for the Italian national team.

England manager Roy Hodgson looks on at the start of the international friendly football match between England and Scotland on August 14, 2013
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