Balotelli fires off Roo barb
Published 23:01 18/01/11 By David McDonnell
Mario Balotelli has taken a huge swipe at Wayne Rooney, claiming the England star is not even the best striker in Manchester.
Rooney has scored just three goals – two from the penalty spot – for United in a troubled season on and off the pitch, while Balotelli has netted eight times in 11 games for City.
With a little over three weeks to go until the Manchester derby at Old Trafford, City striker Balotelli pulled no punches with his withering assessment of Rooney.
And the outspoken Italian – never afraid to court controversy – said City’s attack of himself, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko was superior to the forwards at United, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“He [Rooney] is a very good player, but not the best in Manchester,” said Balotelli.
“Our attack of me, Tevez and Dzeko is the best in the world, better even than Barcelona and Real Madrid. We are the strongest and we can win things now – we just lack conviction.”
Balotelli, currently sidelined with a knee problem, also claimed United fans stop him in the street in Manchester and say they wished he had moved to Old Trafford instead.
“Do United fans insult me?” said Balotelli. “No, they stop me in the street and say ‘Mario, come to us!’ But I dream of beating them because I know how much the City fans care.
“They are wonderful with me. When they sang my name after the hat-trick I scored, I had chills.”
Balotelli also attacked Jose Mourinho, his former boss at Inter Milan, claiming City manager Roberto Mancini was superior to him in every respect.
“Mancini is the most important coach I’ve had,” he said. “Soon he’ll be the best in the world. As a man, he is miles ahead of Mourinho.”