By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The headline-grabbing striker has had a season to remember for both club and country. He was criticised for his selfishness, poor temperament and off-field antics when donning a Manchester City jersey and he nearly helped derail their title bid in the second half of the season.
With the Italy squad, he played in every game and his difficulties in dealing with racist chanting, his angry remonstration towards the coaching staff following his goal against Republic of Ireland have raised question marks over whether the 21-year-old has truly matured as a player.
But he really came into his own during the semi-final win over Germany when his brace helped depose the tournament favourites but Di Canio continues to believe that the former Inter Milan man remains a loose cannon and deserves some stern treatment.
He told the Sun: "Balotelli is just selfish. He deserves a lot of slaps.
"Against Germany he did two good things but in the end I saw a player who was just waiting to celebrate.
"Balotelli does not play for the team, only for himself.
"He is an egotist, who thinks the world revolves around him.
"Guys like Balotelli deserve lots of slaps rather than pats on the shoulder. Antonio Cassano led the team to the final."
The enigmatic striker, who has burnt his home and gatecrashed a press conference over the past season, is currently with the City team undergoing pre-season training and is expected to be part of the squad that will tour Austria, China and Malaysia in the coming weeks.