England pair Gary Cahill and Joe Hart are concerned by the prospect of facing Mario Balotelli in their World Cup opener against Italy.

The striker has widely bee described as enigmatic, with his questionable temperament having often got him into trouble both on and off of the pitch.

But despite this, on his day ‘Mad Mario’ can be one of European football’s most feared forwards, with his pace, power and deadly finishing capabilities having seen him star for Manchester City, Inter Milan and now AC Milan in his still young career.

Hart played alongside Balotelli at the Etihad Stadium, and revealed that his unpredictable nature is a concern to England:

“You just never know with him,” he is quoted by BBC Sport.

Cahill has also met with the controversial goal-getter at club level and says that he doesn’t know what sort of performance to expect from him in Manaus:

“Mario is an unpredictable player. I have played against him when he has done well, I have played against him when he has been brought off after 60 minutes. It is difficult to say.”

Balotelli has been tipped to start against England for some time, but he may lose his place to Ciro Immobile.