BOLOGNA, Italy (AP) — Leave Mario Balotelli alone.

That's the message from Italy coach Cesare Prandelli a day after the striker was accused of drug dealing by a confessed member of the Neopolitan Camorra crime group.

"It's intolerable to keep coming after him and dragging him into every situation," Prandelli told Italian state TV on Friday ahead of a friendly with San Marino. "I can't even imagine him dealing drugs as a joke."

The accusation from Armando De Rosa came during testimony in a money laundering trial in which Balotelli also testified in 2011 about his visit to the crime-infested Scampia neighborhood a year earlier.

In sworn testimony that was made public Thursday, De Rosa said that after Balotelli watched as cocaine and heroin was sold he jokingly asked if he could sell some, too, and then gave some to a buyer.

Balotelli maintains he was just curious about the neighborhood after seeing it in a film, and he also reacted angrily to the Camorra member's testimony.

"I just took a little tour with some friends but nothing particular happened," Balotelli told reporters after training Thursday night. "I have absolutely nothing to do with drug dealing or fake drug dealing. I hate drugs. ... This is an incredible lie and it's shameful."

Born in Italy to Ghanian immigrants and then adopted by an Italian family, Balotelli has faced racial taunts throughout his career. He has also had several off-field escapades.

Balotelli made light of his troubles in 2011 when he was with Manchester City by unveiling a T-shirt with the slogan "Why Always Me?" during a 6-1 rout of Manchester United in a Premier League derby. That came after news emerged that a fire had broken out at his house when fireworks were let off in his bathroom.

Balotelli escaped punishment earlier in 2011 after throwing a dart at a City youth-team player. No one was hurt in the incident. In 2010, Balotelli celebrated his high school graduation by firing an air gun in a Milan square.

"He's become so popular that he has to evaluate every single thing he does, and choose carefully who he spends time with," Prandelli said. "His visit to Scampia was made just out of a kid's curiosity. ... And he's already cleared that all up with the judge."