Roberto Mancini has told Mario Balotelli that he should be more like Francesco Totti. “The time for talk and letting him get away with things is over.”
The Manchester City star is known more for his off the field antics than goal-scoring at the moment, fuelling reports the club is willing to release him on loan in January.
“Mario has resumed training and could be on the bench against Stoke. Otherwise, he could play against Watford on January 5,” Mancini told La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
“The rapport between us is still good, even if he creates some sort of chaos every day. I care for him, because we’ve been working together for many years. I saw him grow up.
“However, a professional rapport is something else and I now demand to see action from Mario. The time for talk and letting him get away with things is over. Balotelli is 22 years old and it’s time he makes that step up in quality in the way he performs his profession.
“I ask of him hard work and a serious attitude in training, a calmer private life and the correct behaviour on the field.”
Mancini points to Roma captain Totti as the key for SuperMario’s future success.
“The example for Balotelli should be Totti. If Francesco is able to be this consistently impressive at the highest level at the age of 36, it’s because over the course of his career he has acted like a professional,” continued the Manchester City manager.
Milan have repeatedly shown interest in snapping up Balotelli, although they’d probably only be able to take him on loan initially.
“I hope Mario stays, but the future depends above all on him. The club owner has a soft spot for Balotelli, because he recognises his talent and helps export the City name around the world.
“It should also be noted that we made a significant investment in Mario and this is not a club that throws money out the window.”
Mancini also commented on his own future plans and Manchester City’s early exit from the Champions League.
“My contract is valid until 2017 and I’d like to win again to leave my mark in the history of this club. City hadn’t taken part in the Champions League for over 40 years and we were unlucky in the draw. We fumbled a great chance against Real Madrid, as winning there would’ve been decisive.”
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!