Balotelli can be like Messi

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Roberto Mancini believes Mario Balotelli could become comparable to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, should the Manchester City striker change his attitude.

After a mixed first season at the Etihad Stadium, Balotelli has started the new term in potent form; finding the net seven times in ten appearances for City.

There is with Balotelli, however, always the concern that his off-field misdemeanours and on-field tantrums could overshadow his finer attributes.

And Mancini says the 21-year-old Italian still has plenty to work on before he can be considered among the game's top players.

"I hope for Mario the day when he changes mentality comes soon," commented the City boss.

"That is the day he will be one of the three best players in the world along with Messi and Cristiano."

He added: "Whenever I put him on in games he hits the ground running immediately.

"After the game against QPR, he moaned to me, 'I didn't get a goal!'

"But I told him his goal is to help the team in a difficult moment - and he'd achieved it."

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