Jose Mourinho has lifted the lid on what it is like to try and control Mario Balotelli – and described his time managing the Italian as a “comedy.”
Mourinho took Balotelli under his wing during his two year spell in charge of Inter Milan between 2008 and 2010.
The tempestuous pair were often accused of falling out, with Mourinho once branding Balotelli as ‘unmanageable”.
The 22-year-old has garnered a reputation for the unexpected during his time at Manchester City, which has generated more than its fair share of wild stories since he joined the Citizens in 2010.
However speaking in an interview with CNN, Mourinho revealed the light hearted side of their relationship, and said even when Balotelli was causing problems he was always fun to work with.
When asked about the most problematic players he has ever worked with, the Real Madrid coach said: “The most problematic players were funny. Mario was good fun.
“I could write a book of 200 pages of my two years in Inter with Mario, but the book would not be a drama, it would be a comedy.
Mourinho cited Inter Milan’s 1-1 Champions League draw against Rubin Kazan in 2009 as the perfect example of the difficulty in trying to control Balotelli.
“I remember one time went to play Kazan in the Champions 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.
"Mario got a yellow card in the 42nd minute, so when I go to the dressing room at half-time I spend about 14 minutes of the 15 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 shares an equally changeable relatinship with Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.
The Italian reacted angirly to Balotelli getting sent off in Manchester City's defeat against Arsenal last season, and declared he would never play for the club again.
However the pair appear to share a special bond, with Balotelli once desribing Mancini as a 'father figure' in his life, while the City boss maintains he has 'endless patience' with the controversial striker.