Balotelli eager to repay Prandelli's patience

Maverick striker Mario Balotelli sees Euro 2012 as the chance of a lifetime and is determined to repay Italy coach Cesare Prandelli for putting up with his off-the-field antics, he said on Wednesday.

Prandelli has warned his players that he will not tolerate misbehaviour when they are playing for Italy and has already barred Balotelli once from selection because he was serving a suspension with Manchester City.

"I've never been afraid of missing out on the national team, Prandelli has always kept in touch with me," he told reporters.

"The coach has shown great faith in me, he has waited for me and I can't wait for the chance to repay him. The Euro is the chance of my lifetime."

Balotelli, wildly unpredictable with Manchester City, also promised not to get himself sent off during Euro 2012.

"I won't leave the team with 10 men," he said. "I want to give the image of a player who enjoys himself and entertains, as well as that of a successful player in a winning team.

"I'm young, and it's normal to have highs and lows, but I hope to do better for the national team."

He added: "I disagree that I have to mature even though people keep telling me that. I need to improve technically and in tactics, like any young player."

Balotelli, who has won seven caps, has been named in Italy's provisional squad for Euro 2012 which will be whittled down to 23 next week.