Italy coach Antonio Conte believes Mario Balotelli should not be treated any differently from his peers but has urged the Liverpool striker to prove himself following his recall to the national side.
he 24-year-old has had a miserable start to his Anfield career with just two goals, neither of which have been in the Premier League, and criticism is growing over his contribution.
With that in mind it was something of a surprise he was recalled to the Italy squad but Conte, while having some sympathy for the player, wants to see for himself the state of Balotelli's game.
"Personally, I'm not going to pay attention to talk about the club," he told a press conference as his squad gathered for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Croatia and friendly against Albania.
"People try to exaggerate each situation and I feel sorry for him.
"Today he is here and he has to answer to me. I will judge him by what he does in the next seven to nine days.
"I'm worried that people see Balotelli differently to the others.
"Balotelli is a normal footballer, just like the others. We don't need to differentiate Balotelli from the others, he's just one of the 23 players.
"Balotelli has significant experience with the national team, he has played at a World Cup and a European championship, but that's not enough.
"He needs to catch my eye and I have to see if he can adapt to our type of football.
"If he can, he can play in the starting line-up, but he can also be on the bench or in the stands.
"My duty is to see how I can use them in this national team.
"This route has today provided Balotelli with the chance to show what he can be. Should he not prove himself, it'll be for a reason."