Football

Milner hails super Mario

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James Milner has joined the chorus of support for Mario Balotelli after the Italian striker scored his first goal of the season against Everton.

The 21-year-old former Inter Milan forward came off the bench to help inspire a 2-0 win over the Toffees, and is now in contention to start at Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

And whilst Milner believes, like all footballers, Balotelli isn't happy with sitting on the substitutes bench, the England international insists there is no issue with regards to the player's attitude on the pitch or in training.

"I don't think anyone is happy when they are not in the team. But he hasn't shown it, he trains hard every day," said Milner after Saturday's win.

"He goes about his business like everyone else does. You try to get in the side and when you get a chance, try to take it. He has not stepped out of line or shown his disappointment in any way."


 

"He is a top-quality player. You forget how young he is and he has done a lot in the game already. You can see his quality every time he comes on. He only needed half a chance and he took it (against Everton). It wasn't an easy finish. He is a massive part of this squad as well. He is a goalscorer."

Milner was echoing the sentiments of manager Roberto Mancini with his remarks, and he was also delighted with the response of Balotelli when he came off the bench at the Etihad Stadium.

Mancini goes as far as to suggest his compatriot could go on to become one of the world's best - if he maintains his focus and works hard at every opportunity.

"With Mario it is never easy. But we keep in our mind that Mario is young, and young guys can have different behaviour. I know him very well. I know he is a fantastic guy," added the Citizens chief.

"I want him to work well all the time, in every training session and every match because this year he could be an important player for us.

"He has everything. He has the technical ability. He is strong. He shoots very well. He can score with his head. He needs time but he can become one of the top players."

Topics:
Football
Manchester City
James Milner
Premier League
Mario Balotelli
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