Mario Balotelli has followed his team-mate Carlos Tevez in declaring that he does not like the city of Manchester, as well as admitting he sees his future back in Milan. The Manchester City striker, who signed from Internazionale and seemingly has an addiction to outspoken behaviour, spoke to Italian TV after scoring in his team’s 3-0 friendly victory over Inter in Dublin on Sunday.
He was feted for his performance, which followed the criticism of the one that he gave against LA Galaxy the previous Sunday, when his botched back-heeled finish drew the wrath of his manager Roberto Mancini, but his comments, which hinted at homesickness, might not be quite so well received by the City support.
“I am not happy in Manchester,” Balotelli said. “I do not like the city. With my team-mates and my manager, everything is fine, but the city is not to my tastes. I miss the chance to be at home with my family and with my friends.”
Mischief, as ever, undercut the interview. It is sometimes tempting to wonder whether the Italian is simply revelling in a wind-up. When he was asked about the appeal of a move to Milan or a return to Inter, with the former appearing more likely, he replied that Brescia was his home, rather than Milan.
“That is my home,” he said. “Milan is a great team and one day, you cannot say what will happen. Inter again? We will see. At the moment, I am attached to Manchester. Adriano Galliani [the Milan chief executive] says that sooner or later I will go to Milan? I would like to, but we will see. Yes, I have chanted ‘Forza Milan’ in the past, that I was joking. One day, though, maybe.”
Tevez, who handed in a transfer request last January, is due to return to Manchester on Thursday, after his exertions for Argentina at the Copa América, from which they were eliminated on 16 July. His future at the club remains uncertain, on the back of his criticisms of the city which were rather more colourful.
“There’s nothing to do in Manchester,” Tevez said. “There’s two restaurants and everything’s small. It rains all the time, you can’t go anywhere. There comes a moment where you say ‘where am I going to go with my family?’ and you begin to feel bad.
“Of course, one trains, plays, does things, and when the family or friends come one feels bad and you can’t take them to the movies because they don’t understand anything. You can buy a house in Marbella and take a vacation. I will not return to Manchester, not for vacation, not anything