Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has come out with some cracking quotes in the past but here’s a fresh one, he thinks Mario Balotelli can be held in the same esteem as Ronaldo or Messi if he got his attitude off the pitch corrected.
Balotelli has had flare ups with every manager he has ever played under and Mancini insists that if the Italian front man is able to rectify his attitude off the pitch and realise how important football is to his personal life, then he might suddenly start banging in 30 to 40 goals every single season.
Sorry Roberto but it’s hard to buy that. There is little doubt that he is a very complete striker. He is tall, he is quick and he can drop off into the midfield just as easily as he can play on the shoulder of a defence as he looks to pin them back. However, the stats don’t lie and Balotelli has played nine times for City in the league this season without bagging a single goal.
Any neutral football fan would admit that Balotelli is great entertainment but it’s quite often because he’s letting off fireworks inside his own house before calling the fire brigade out to come and fix the problem. Remember, he’s still only 22-years-old so he’s not going to mature over night.
“He has everything to be one of the best players in the world. He could be like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi if he understands that to be like this you should work hard - He is 22 but life can go quickly. [He needs to] understand that to be like [Ronaldo and Messi] he should work hard, his mind should be always on your job, not on the other things that are not important. I am very sorry for him,” Mancini said as reported on BBC Sport.
He’s even under a bit of pressure at the club because he has only bagged two goals at City in all competitions this season. They took a gamble on him and he’s only human so if he doesn’t start pulling his weight then an ironic or bitter teammate may start leaving pictures of an exit sign on his locker.
For Balotelli to even start to be considered alongside the likes of Ronaldo and Messi, he firstly has to start scoring the same volume of goals; Ronaldo has 12 goals from 12 games so far this season while Messi has 17 goals from 12 games in the league.
Once he’s done that he then needs to start setting an example away from the field which doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Any player that starts throwing darts around at training because he’s bored isn’t exactly going to change into a model professional in a short time frame.
At least he did do a campaign for firework safety.
Is Mancini wrong on this one, or can Balotelli prove him right?
image: © praguegallagher