Saturday September 14 2013
Mancini on Tevez, Balo and Italy

Roberto Mancini praised Carlos Tevez – “when he wasn’t playing golf” – doubts Mario Balotelli has matured and put himself forward for the Italy job.

The former Manchester City manager spoke to Radio Deejay on Italian football, including two of his former players who are now starring in Serie A.

“Did I have ups and downs with Tevez? No, the only downs were when he was off playing golf. Joking aside, we did clear the air straight away and he probably wanted to leave the club, but the human rapport with Tevez was always excellent.

“Carlitos can make the difference, as he fights, scores and drags the team forward. He will do very well at Juventus. As a centre-forward he is extraordinary, because he is sharper and doesn’t have to track back as much. Juventus will do well with him in Europe.”

Balotelli left Manchester City after numerous clashes with Mancini, including a training ground bust-up, but has rediscovered his joy at Milan.

“Has Balotelli matured? I don’t think so,” smiled Mancio. “Mario is exactly as he was before, both in good ways and bad, so he has to accepted the way he is. As a player he is remarkable and has unique qualities.

“As for Inter, they have started the season well as a real team, but I really don’t think they can challenge for the Scudetto, at least not this year.

“If President Massimo Moratti does sell the club it will be his decision. On the one hand I’d be happy, on the other it’s a shame because the story of his presidency is an important one.”

Mancini has been named as one of the potential candidates to take over the Italy job if Cesare Prandelli walks away after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. While other options like Fabio Capello and Alberto Zaccheroni have tried to distance themselves from the Azzurri bench, Mancio is enthusiastic.

“I don’t know anything about the situation and I respect Prandelli, but it’s only natural that a Coach cannot turn down a call from his national team. That’s true for me and I’d assume for all my colleagues too.”

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