Mario Balotelli could “freak out” and gift England victory in tonight’s crunch clash with Italy, according to his sister.
Cristina Balotelli is worried the controversial striker, who is expected to start against the Three Lions in tonight’s crucial Euro quarter-final, could crack under the pressure of the big match.
She fears her 21-year-old brother has been given so much responsibility it could result in him snapping and getting sent off.
Cristina said: “I hope he can deal with pressure but I don’t know, maybe he will freak out.
“Usually he is calm in these big situations, but it’s a very important match for him. It could be too much.
“I don’t think it’s good for him. It’s too much pressure. Everyone talks about him and not the other Italian players. He sometimes shows his anger, and I don’t know why.
“He is just a very spontaneous person. Many times he does things that damage himself because he’s so innocent. He does not think when he does things.”
Cristina also says Balotelli is desperate to beat England to clinch bragging rights with his English-born Manchester City teammates.
However, she claims he would secretly support England for the rest of the tournament if they knock Italy out tonight.
She also insists her brother – who earns around £120,000-a-week at City – is “not crazy, just a bit naughty”.
Balotelli has built up a reputation for being an eccentric figure on and off the pitch. Since arriving in the Premier League in August 2010, he has been sent off six times, had on-field spats with fellow teammates and even revealed a T-shirt reading “Why always me?” after scoring against rivals Manchester United last season.
Off the field, he almost burned his house down after letting off a firework in his bathroom last November.
He also dressed up as Santa at Christmas time to hand out cash to strangers in the street, and has crashed his car three times.