Football

Mario Balotelli: My biggest regret

Balotelli is pleased to be back in Italy. (©GettyImages)
Balotelli is pleased to be back in Italy. (©GettyImages).

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has revealed that he only has one regret in football, despite a turbulent professional career that has taken in spells in England and Italy, reports the Daily Express.

The 22-year-old spoke to reporters during his country's pre-match press conference ahead of tonight's World Cup qualifier against Malta, citing an incident at Inter Milan that provokes the most remorse.

Balotelli recalls the on-field strop after a Champions League clash in 2010 that marked the end of his time at the San Siro, with Jose Mourinho opting to sell the Italian to Manchester City the following summer.

"In my life I would only avoid doing one thing again," said Balotelli. "I wouldn't have thrown the Inter jersey to the ground."

A tempestuous stint at the Etihad Stadium followed, where Balotelli was involved in a number of misdemeanours, including a training ground bust-up with manager Roberto Mancini, and a personalised fireworks display in his rented home in Manchester.

Whilst the enigmatic star's temperament has often been questioned, his natural football ability has not, and Balotelli proved once again just what he is capable of with a stunning 30-yard strike for Italy in their 2-2 friendly draw with Brazil on Thursday.

In fact, since leaving Manchester City and joining Inter Milan in a £19million deal in the January transfer window, the Palermo-born frontman has hit the ground running with eight goals in seven games for club and country.

"I've never had a big head," continued Balotelli. "I do not consider myself to be the best in the world, nor the worst. I am me and that is enough.

"Thanks to the Italy squad and especially the Euros, now fans of other clubs are starting to like me too. I can see from the way they act around me.

"The Nazionale (Italy) has something special, something more, and I am happy that the squad is getting younger. I have been changing for a while, it's just that before you couldn't see the improvements."

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Mario Balotelli

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