Balotelli tells Noel Gallagher: Mancini is my wonderwall
Published 10:57 08/03/12 By David McDonnell
Mario Balotelli, who has given a rare insight into his complex character, claims he is not as crazy as he is perceived - and hails the influence of Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.
The maverick City forward has earned a reputation as a loose cannon after becoming embroiled in a number of controversies since arriving in England in August 2010.
But in an interview with former Oasis star Noel Gallagher for the BBC, Balotelli claims he's not happy with that profile.
"I don't like when people talk about my business or my life," he said. "I'm really private. Maybe someone thinks I'm arrogant or something but it is just me.
"I don't care, they can say what they want. I just walk in town like a normal guy. I go to the pub. Not to drink."
Balotelli's latest indiscretion - breaking a club curfew to visit a strip club in the early hours - has seen him fined a week's wages of around £110,000.
Only last week, boss Mancini warned Balotelli he must mature, on and off the field, if he is to ever fulfil his rich potential.
Balotelli claimed he HAS grown up, despite his continued brushes with controversy, and said Mancini was the only manager who understood him.
"If Mancini says something, he's right," said Balotelli.
"But I'm 21, so I'm still young. I think from last year, already I'm bigger [older] in my head."
In the interview with City fan Gallagher for BBC One's Football Focus, Balotelli said he would never have joined the club were it not for Mancini.
"If Mancini wasn't here, I never come here," said Balotelli. "But now that I'm here, I'm OK, I'm happy."
See the video clip HERE
*The full interview with Balotelli can be seen on Saturday's Football Focus at 12.15 on BBC One.