New Milan man Mario Balotelli could be as good as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, says Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.
The Italian will return to Italian football this month after a €20m fee was agreed between the San Siro giants and the Premiership outfit.
“His departure is sad,” Mancini told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’ve always believed in the talent of Mario Balotelli and I confirm that.
“If his behaviour improves then he can reach the level of people like Messi and Ronaldo. Manchester City are certainly losing something with his exit.
“Mario needs people who really love him and who can help him. The presence of his family can help him to take that final step up in quality.
“For him, playing at Milan could give him that extra push.”
Mancini specifically requested Balotelli’s signing in 2010 after their previous time together in Italy with Inter.
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