NEWS
Saturday June 30 2012
Moratti: 'Inter asked for Balotelli'

Massimo Moratti reveals Inter “tried to bring back Mario Balotelli, but Manchester City said no. If I have regrets, what about Milan with Andrea Pirlo?”

Balotelli grew up in the Nerazzurri youth academy and was promoted to the first team by then-Coach Roberto Mancini, who was reunited with him in Manchester in August 2010. The transfer worth €22m brought the Nerazzurri a profit of €21.856m.

“I am happy for Mario because it seems he finally found a home – Italy – and feels as loved by the Italians as he always wanted to be,” President Moratti told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

SuperMario became a national hero when netting a brace in the Euro 2012 semi-final with Germany and even broke his usual tradition by celebrating the goals.

“This must have felt like a sort of conquest. I think above all he was seeking an emotionally gratifying experience.

“In the embrace with his mother at the final whistle you can see everything I talked about, of following up on promises. It was the confirmation of someone who finally realises he’s not wasting his talent.

“Balotelli is a complex kid, but above all else a great talent and at Euro 2012 he’s proving that in front of the whole world on the international stage.”

There were reports a couple of months ago that Inter were in negotiations to bring Balotelli back to San Siro due to his issues with Mancini and the English media.

“I am not ashamed to admit I tried to bring him back to Inter. I would’ve been happy to bet on him again, but Manchester City had every right to say no, as they wanted to keep hold of him.”

Pirlo has also lit up Euro 2012 and Moratti was reminded of when Inter sold him to Milan in 2001 in exchange for cash, Cristian Brocchi and Andres Guglielminpietro.

“Do I regret selling Pirlo? If we have regrets, what should Milan be feeling?” sniped Moratti after the Rossoneri let him go on a free transfer to inspire Juventus.

“He is an immense player, someone in his 30s who looks like he’s playing alongside 16-year-olds. His character and ability to make things seem easy are stunning, especially as his every move is for the team and never just for its own sake.”

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