The former Chelsea boss described his time in charge of Balotelli at Inter Milan as a “comedy”.
Mourinho, himself no shrinking violet, blasted the volatile Italian striker as “unmanageable”. He said,
“I remember one time we went to play Kazan in the Champion’s League. In that match I had all my strikers injured. No Milito, no Eto’o – I was really in trouble – and Mario was the only one.”
His anecdote continued, “Mario got a yellow card in the 42nd minute, so when I got to the dressing room at half-time I spend about fourteen minutes of the fifteen available speaking only to Mario.”
“I said to him, ‘Mario, I cannot change you, I have no strikers on the bench, so don’t touch anybody and play only with the ball. If we lose the ball no reaction. If someone provokes you, no reaction, if the referee makes a mistake, no reaction.’ The 46th minute, red card.”
Balotelli has earned himself a somewhat infamous reputation for his indiscipline both on and off the field. The striker, a protégé of Roberto Mancini when they first met at Milan, has tested his manager’s patience on a number of occasions since re-joining him at Manchester City.
“I could write a book of two-hundred pages of my two years at Inter with Mario, but the book would not be a drama,”
He insisted, “It would be a comedy.”
Perhaps Balotelli will have the last laugh. Either way, there’s surely one Roberto Mancini who is not amused.