Mancini a better boss than Mourinho - Balotelli
Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli believes Roberto Mancini is a better manager than Jose Mourinho, his old boss at Inter Milan.
Both coaches have played a significant role in Balotelli's development as he spent two seasons under Mourinho at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza and he is currently playing in his second campaign under Mancini at Eastlands after featuring briefly under the Italian at Inter.
Balotelli's controversial character has made for tempestuous relationships with the pair of managerial heavyweights - being dropped by both men following acts of petulance on the pitch - but the 21-year-old is happy with the way he has been pushed by both.
However, asked to choose between them, the striker opts for Mancini, who treats Balotelli with kid gloves at times, whilst at others condemning him in the fiercest manner possible.
"Mourinho? Among the best,'' he told Italian magazine L'Uomo Vogue. "My relationship with Mancini? It's perfect.
"On a personal level I would say Mancini and then Mourinho. A coach has to bring 100 per cent out of a player and Mancini is brilliant at doing just that.''
Balotelli has already played down suggestions he wants to move back to Italy. However, clearly issues exist, not least the way his mannerisms are picked apart, leaving him in the position of being attacked no matter how he behaves.
Not that Balotelli feels the Italian media are any better than their English counterparts. In fact, he believes they are worse.
"I am 21 years old and have spent almost two years away from home,'' he said. "I have adapted quite well, despite the huge cultural differences. But I have no real friends here. If I had to move, right now, I would choose Italy.
"If I buy a Fiat Uno, I read that a guy like me would be more suited to a Ferrari. If I buy the Ferrari, I read that I should have been more down to earth and bought the Uno. If I laugh, I'm not serious; if I don't laugh, I'm a sulky rich guy who doesn't enjoy doing the best job in the world.
"Here in England the tabloid press writes about absolutely everything, and always exaggerates. But the thing that gives me most trouble is that in Italy the tabloids talk rubbish without a shred of truth to it. So many Italians take everything at face value.''