Mario Balotelli gave an intriguing interview on gossip, Roberto Mancini, Jose Mourinho, fines, car crashes, bronze statues and why he can’t “just be a normal guy.”
The full interview with Italian comedy TV show Le Iene will air on Sunday evening and includes footage of someone trying to falsify stories on the striker to sell to the papers.
“Certain people really don’t know how to make money in life and therefore try to take advantage of others,” replied the Milan star.
“Gossip is one thing, but what these people do is close to criminal. Many stories are invented about me, I’d say about 0.01% of them are true. Who uses me? Almost everyone.”
The ex-Manchester City man was asked about some of the numerous newspaper headlines associated with him. He denied setting fire to his own house with fireworks or getting into a fight with a Manchester United fan, but confessed to throwing darts at the Man City youth players.
Curiously, Balotelli also denied wearing Milan socks while training with Inter, despite Marco Materazzi repeatedly saying he cut them up in the locker room as a joke.
SuperMario did confirm he has ordered a bronze statue of himself to put in his house, but assured the stories of numerous fines with the club were untrue.
“I hardly paid any fines. The only real one I got was when Manchester City won the title and I went back to Italy instead of celebrating with the rest of the team.
“I have not wrecked any cars, although twice someone else crashed into me. I am happy in Milan.”
Balotelli was asked about his rapport with City manager Mancini and their famous row in training.
“I rarely hear from Mancini. I had fouled someone and he got angry, that’s all. We made up afterwards. Who do I prefer between Mancini and Mourinho? As a person Mancini, in football terms Mourinho.
“I argued a lot with Mourinho, but I also remember moments of great joy and we had a good laugh. We worked hard with him and played with great intensity, as it was what he wanted.
“I don’t really talk to anyone from Inter now, though I sometimes hear from Materazzi or Wesley Sneijder. Marco has always been close to me and we never came to blows, unlike what some people said. He couldn’t have punched me anyway!”
Balotelli said the players he admired the most were also those stronger than him: Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“Why haven’t I won the Ballon d’Or? It’s my fault. Sacrifice counts for a lot in spot. As a teenager I couldn’t do the normal things that the boys of my age get to do. I might have a nice car and house, but at times you just want to be a normal guy and you can’t.
“Will I become the best player in the world? I hope so. I have to improve in every area, though. My best goal was the second one against Germany.
“As for the Derby, on two occasions I got it totally wrong, on two Samir Handanovic did very well to stop me.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.