Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has compared maverick Manchester City hitman Mario Balotelli to former Manchester United favourite Eric Cantona.
The Italian forward has been a huge hit with the fans at the Etihad Stadium following his arrival from Inter Milan last summer, but has rarely been out of the headlines both on the front and back pages due to his on-and-off field antics.
Whilst some have questioned his temperament, his talents are unquestioned, and Drogba believes Super Mario has a great passion for the game, as well as a 'nice guy' demeanor away from the pitch.
"I know Balotelli and he's a nice guy, a funny guy. I like him very much because he's passionate and he loves football," the Ivorian is quoted as saying by talkSPORT.
"He's a good character for the Premier League, like Cantona, who loves what he is doing. I respect him for that.
"You just have to see what he did in the last few weeks, scoring all those goals for his team, to understand what kind of player he is. I think he knows the league a bit more now, which has made things easier for him too."
Chelsea fans didn't take too kindly to his most recent celebration after scoring the opener against the Blues at Stamford Bridge, although the 21-year-old was left frustrated after a 2-1 defeat to Drogba & Co. in west London on Monday night.
The result has blown the title race wide-open, with Roberto Mancini's side's lead at the top of the table now down to two points, whilst Andre Villas-Boas' men are just seven points off the pace.