The controversial Mario Balotelli will be an integral part of Italy's Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, according to coach Cesare Prandelli.
Balotelli's participation in the tournament had been called into question following a number of indiscretions - the latest a three-match ban for being sent off against Arsenal.
Prandelli had said previously that the 21-year-old's disciplinary problems could stop him being called up, but now the Italy coach insists he cannot do without the temperamental star.
"I liked the fact he took responsibility and what he said after the recent event with City," Prandelli told an Italian news channel. "I like people who face up to things. I never thought of leaving him out, he's a fixed part of the national team."
Prandelli also claimed he wants AC Milan's Antonio Cassano, who still needs to prove his fitness following his recent return to action after heart surgery, to be in the squad.
"We can get him back," said Prandelli. "His enthusiasm is contagious and I need him."© ESPN