Mario Balotelli has been dropped for Sunday’s Serie A trip to AS Roma after a training ground bust-up with new Brescia coach Fabio Grosso.
Ex-World Cup winner Grosso, who took over the struggling northern side this month, was reported to be angered by the Italian forward’s lazy attitude in training on Thursday.
Balotelli stormed out of the session and has now been dropped and could face disciplinary action.
“I demand great rhythm and intensity, when it doesn’t happen I prefer to change. He didn’t do it and he was cast side,” Grosso told a pre-match press conference on Saturday.
The 2006 World Cup winner’s word echo those of Balotelli’s former coaches which included Antonio Conte, Roberto Mancini and Jose Mourinho.
“I don’t want to minimise or blow it out of proportion. For me it will be crucial to use everyone at my disposal, but I can only do so much,” continued Grosso.
“I told Mario that I can only help him to a certain point. Then he has to help himself.”
Balotelli, who was born in Sicily but adopted and raised just outside Brescia, agreed a three-year deal with the Serie B champions after being released by Marseille last June.
But it has been a difficult start to the campaign for the 29-year-old with two goals scored in seven matches.
The former Inter Milan, Manchester City and Liverpool striker was also targeted by racist chanting in Verona where he threatened to walk off the pitch.
Balotelli, who has 36 caps for Italy, has not featured on the international stage in over a year as coach Mancini said he was not playing at a high enough standard.
Brescia are bottom of the Serie A table and travel to Roma looking for their first win in two months.