Mario Balotelli insists he has “humility” and sent a clear message to Manchester City after he earned a standing ovation at San Siro. “Speak to my face, not to the papers.”
SuperMario was on target at full stretch and fought hard, even clearing the ball in defence, during Italy’s 3-1 victory over Denmark.
“I hoped to win this match. Denmark scored just before the break and things got rather complicated, but it was good to score tonight,” he told RAI Sport.
“Even when training the other day I said San Siro was in my view the most wonderful stadium in the world. It gives you extraordinary emotions. English stadiums have a different atmosphere, but if San Siro had been full then it would’ve been even better tonight.
“Both with Italy and City, I have always put the effort in and am improving in terms of my work rate. I have had this humility for a while and can continue to have it without problems.”
Balotelli had a few clashes with Liverpool defender Daniel Agger during the game.
“I have absolutely no problem with Agger, but in the first half he did a nasty tackle on Andrea Pirlo and I got angry. These things happen on the field, and off it we’re all friends.
“Do I need to get fired up? No, I just need great teammates. I get on very well with Osvaldo in attack and when I was left alone all the balls coming forward came to me, so it was different.”
Balotelli even set up the opening goal for Riccardo Montolivo before netting himself on a long Pirlo pass.
“It was a normal move and I saw Montolivo coming, so I tried to pass it. On the second it was more instinctive, I tried to anticipate the goalkeeper, but the ball kept going and I scored.”
Last week Manchester City director Brian Marwood said Balotelli “does not set a good example,” but SuperMario’s response was short and not remotely sweet.
“I don’t want to talk about this and I don’t give a damn what he said.”
“Do I earn too much to come to Milan? I don’t know. Right now I am at Manchester, even if certain people for some reason like to say things to the papers and not to my face. I am happy in Manchester and get on well with my teammates.
“Everyone tries to put some sort of problem between us, but I get along very well with Roberto Mancini. He cares for me and I care for him.
“I feel very important for this Nazionale, but we all do. If we want to do well in the World Cup then we have to feel like a team.
“Am I happy with my life? Very.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!