Balotelli: Mancini is better than Mourinho
Mario Balotelli has said he believes Roberto Mancini is a better manager than Jose Mourinho. Both men have been major influences on the 21-year-old's career, Mancini first at Inter Milan, now at Manchester City, and Mourinho during the spell in between.
Although Balotelli's quirky character has made for tempestuous relationships with the pair of managerial heavyweights, the 21-year-old is happy with the manner they have pushed him forward. However, pushed to choose between them, the striker opts for Mancini, who treats Balotelli with kid gloves at times, whilst at others condemning him in the fiercest manner possible.
"Mourinho? Among the best," he told Italian magazine L'Uomo Vogue. "On a personal level I would say Mancini and then Mourinho. A coach has to bring 100 per cent out of a player and Mancini is brilliant at doing just that."
Balotelli has already played down suggestions he wants to move back to Italy. However, clearly issues exist, not least the way his mannerisms are picked apart, leaving him in the position of being attacked no matter how he behaves.
Not that Balotelli feels the Italian media are any better than their English counterparts. In fact, he believes they are worse. "I am 21-years-old and have spent almost two years away from home," he said. "I have adapted quite well, despite the huge cultural differences.
"But I have no real friends here. If I had to move, right now, I would choose Italy," he said. "If I buy a Fiat Uno, I read that a guy like me would be more suited to a Ferrari. If I buy the Ferrari, I read that I should have been more down to earth and bought the Uno. If I laugh, I'm not serious; if I don't laugh, I'm a sulky rich guy who doesn't enjoy doing the best job in the world.
"Here in England the tabloid press writes about absolutely everything, and always exaggerates," he went on. "But the thing that gives me most trouble is that in Italy the tabloids talk rubbish without a shred of truth to it. So many Italians take everything at face value."
Earlier the striker played down reports linking him with a move to AC Milan. He told Italian radio station Radio Radio: "The newspapers are saying that I want to get away from Manchester, but I've never spoken to them. They can say what they want, but I'm in Manchester, I am under contract with City and until the right time, will not talk about a new contract."
The 21-year-old striker is tied to City until June 2015 and has no intention of leaving the club in the near future. "The Premier League has been a new experience, even if at first it was difficult," he said. "But if I have to tell the whole truth now, it's that I'm really happy here."