Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini insists controversial forward Mario Balotelli must start learning from his mistakes.
The 20-year-old Italian arrived from Inter Milan last summer with a fiery reputation, and he has lived up to that in his first season in English football.
On the pitch Balotelli has shown flashes of the talent that led to Mancini forking out £20m for his services, but he has been sent off twice, most recently for a needless foul on a Dynamo Kiev player as Manchester City crashed out of the Europa League.
He has also been in the headlines for numerous off-field incidents, including reports that emerged this past weekend claiming the player had been throwing darts at youth team players.
And Mancini has now told Balotelli he could throw away his career unless he changes his ways.
The City boss said: “He is 20 and at that age people do c**p things.
“But maybe now the time has come for him to help himself and to understand the mistakes he is making.
“Otherwise he risks throwing away his abilities which are immense. He has scored some beautiful goals this season.
“He should think only about expressing his talents on the pitch and leaving to one side the other matters which have nothing to do with football.
“If he does not, then everybody in England will begin to make him a target - starting off with the referees.
“I understand him and everybody has infinite patience with Mario. Everyone at Manchester City has always helped him and wish him the best.”