Mario Balotelli is not mad and does not miss playing in Serie A, the eccentric Italy and Manchester City forward said on Wednesday.
The temperamental 21-year-old instead said he considered himself to be entertaining and ready to take on responsibility.
"I'm not mad as some people say, although sometimes I'm entertaining," he told reporters at Italy's training camp. "I'm ready to take on responsibility, even if people think I'm not.
"They seem to talk more about my private life than about what I do on the pitch," he added. "That's normal but it bothers me. If I didn't do what I do, I would be boring, but I'm not mad, not all."
The volatile striker picked up multiple red and yellow cards last season and honed a "bad boy" reputation off the field, letting off fireworks from the balcony of his city centre flat, suffering a grass allergy in the middle of a match and drawing publicity for wearing a bizarre hat shaped like a glove.
Balotelli, who has made five appearances for Italy and has yet to score for his country, said it was time to do himself justice at international level.
"It's time for me to awaken with the national team, I have not yet scored a goal and the national team is the best thing for a player," he said, adding that Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini and Italy's Cesare Prandelli had helped him improve.
"Mancini and Prandelli have given me peace of mind and helped me from a tactical point of view," he said.
"I feel like a centre-forward and I can also play out wide. English football has taught me pressing and chasing back after the opponents when I lose the ball.
"I don't miss the Italian championship, the standard is very low, while English football is beautiful, wonderful and enjoyable."
Italy, already qualified for Euro 2012, visit tournament co-hosts Poland on Friday for a friendly and host Copa America champions Uruguay the following Tuesday.comments