'I am at City and have no intention of changing shirt': Read full translation of Mario Balotelli interview
Published 12:14 17/04/12 By Neil McLeman
Mario Balotelli says the Italian national team will always be more important to him than Manchester City, but insists he has "no intention" of leaving the club for Inter or AC Milan.
In his first interview since his red card in the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal, the controversial striker told Italian newspaper Gazzetta Dello Sport : "For me the national team is the most important team. It comes before the club for which I play. Therefore I really hope to be in Poland," but added: "I am at City and have no intention of changing shirt."
He also said he had learned from his sending off at The Emirates, which prompted Roberto Mancini to say he would "probably" sell him in the summer, and praised his club boss as: "one of the best coaches in the world, if not the best."
Read the full translated interview below.
There is a story you want to use a psychiatrist?
I think psychiatrists are important. Sometimes their help can be very useful, but I don't need one, thanks.
Why do you feel in the spotlight?
Why? Every day there is an exaggeration about me. Thank goodness I don't read the papers.
You are referring to the tabloids?
Not only the tabloids. The other week, Mancini had said that I played well and that I could give even more. Fine. They wrote that I had not given everything. And it is better that you leave the rest because often these reports are repeated in Italy without being checked. I ask for it to stop.
In what sense?
I ask to be judged for only what I do on the pitch. And not for all this aggravation towards me.
Would you say you're not a bad boy?
I am made like I am. I am a shy, and above all, simple. I like to have fun with my friends and I don't seek to give any trouble to anyone.
But it doesn't always work out like that
I think there are lots of exaggerations about me. Sometimes I take it badly when I am with my family or friends and I am asked for an autograph. People see me as arrogant but I only ask for a bit of privacy.
How do you find England?
To tell the truth, I don't go out much. At the most, I go to eat Chinese food. Now I have this new passion - I no longer eat Italian food. This is also so I don't go to the same places.
Do you miss Italy?
This is not the problem. The experience of playing in the Premier League is serving me well. From every point of view. Before when I was at Inter, I would call my mother to solve every little problem. Now I have to sort it out myself.
How do you need to improve?
I have to improve above all as a player. Especially my behaviour on the field, but also from a tactical point of view. And I am practicing with my left foot.
Who do you learn from?
I have the fortune to work with Mancini: one of the best coaches in the world, if not the best.
"My reference point is Tevez. When I arrived here, I used to train for fun. But from him I am learning to give everything every day. Carlitos is really special. In this way, he is very similar to Ibra [Zlatan Ibrahimovic].
Tevez also had problems with Mancini
I am not getting into that. I only know that I am pleased he is back.
If Tevez leaves, where would be better for him: Inter or Milan?
According to me, he is fine at Manchester City.
Have you cleared things up with Italy coach Cesare Prandelli?
Of course. We have spoken. He repeated to me to pay attention to the code of ethics and I reassured him on not only this.
On what else?
Before, I thought only about myself, but after the red card with Arsenal, I understood how important it is to be concerned about your team-mates: I cannot leave them with only 10 players.
And in Europe a yellow card can be crucial
Exactly. I will be a lot more careful - I know I have to improve also from this point of view.
Could you have avoided that tackle on Alex Song?
The problem is if I don't press, they accuse me of not helping the team. I always want to give everything. It is also true, however, that if others commit fouls, they pass unnoticed.
So you still hope you might get a call from Prandelli?
For me the national team is the most important team. It comes before the club for which I play. Therefore I really hope to be in Poland.
What makes playing for Italy so important?
It has always been like this, since I was young. But in recent years the enthusiasm has been given to me by the fans. Also in England, all the Italians I meet encourage me. And their warmth gives me a particular responsibility - I don't want to disappoint them.
How are things with Mancini?
Fine. After my last red card he feared I would get a big ban, that is why he spoke so harshly. We have cleared it up, and I know he believes in me. Like he always has.
What about the future?
Now I am thinking only about winning the title because I'm certain that United will make a false step (make mistakes). Definitely in the match with us and then, who knows?
In Italy everyone is getting ready for the Milan derby
But why are you always asking me about Inter and Milan? I am at City and have no intention of changing shirt.
But Inter send messages, and then that appearance at Inter's training ground (
when he gate-crashed new boss Andrea Stramaccioni's press conference
I want to make one thing clear: that day I was passing by chance and I stopped by to say hello to my friends. Then they made me go in and say hello to Stramaccioni during the press conference. It is not my habit to do things like that.
Massimo Moratti always speaks well of you
And that pleases me. He has know me since I was 15. I thank him for his kind words, but I am a City player now and I don't see any other possibilities.
So it is the same for Milan?
Who will win Serie A?
It is all very even and it appears the strongest are out in front. But I have to tell the truth - I am not following the championship. I only watched Milan-Juventus.
And how will the Champions League finish?
Barcelona have to be careful with Chelsea, but only strong teams get to the semi-finals. So it is all very even.
If there is a Real-Barca final, who will you support?
Messi is a phenomenon, a genius like Maradona, but I have a weakness for Cristiano Ronaldo. For his physicality, but also how he knows how to play for the team.
Do you have friends in football?
I am in touch with Marco Materazzi - I still have an excellent relationship with him - and sometimes I speak to David Beckham. I got to know him during our training camp in Los Angeles and since then we have stayed in touch.
And with any Italy players?
I called [Milan striker Antonio] Cassano when he came back. It makes me really happy that he could be at the Euros. I would be happy for him.
But Giuseppe Rossi is really unlucky
I am really sorry for his new injury. We lose his talent but also a great guy. I hope to see him again soon.
The death of [Piermario] Morosini has shaken everyone
I am still incredulous. A unfortunate end for a player who I had to pleasure of knowing in the under-21s. I was the youngest in the team and a bit withrdrawn, but he made a great impression on me. It is a real sadness. As I have already said, things like this make you think.
Does this story make you scared to go on the pitch?
I will definitely undergo more checks. In England they do not have the heart tests they do in Italy. Better to take precautions. I can't wait to get back to play again. To win. Till now in my career, I have always had the fortune to win at least one title per season.
Who will you win your next one with?
With City. And the national team. Why not? But don't ask me to speak in the next few months. Now I am thinking only about deeds.