Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has revealed the reasons why he had a training ground bust up with controversial striker Mario Balotelli.
Mancini was involved in a an infamous training ground bust up with Balotelli when the pair were still at City in 2013, with Mancini caught on camera squaring up to his compatriot and grabbing him by the collar.
The former Inter Milan boss has now given reasons why he spectacularly fell out with Balotelli.
“In a training session, I said to players not to make stupid tackles on Gael Clichy because he was just coming back from injury. And then, Mario made a strong tackle on him. I was furious,” Mancini told L’Equipe.
“I grabbed him by the collar wanting to push him but he is so strong physically I couldn’t move him. From seeing the pictures, you would think that we came to blows but nothing happened.
“He came into conflict with some team-mates because of his behaviour, and he wanted to return to Italy. I was disappointed that he wanted to leave because he should have done so much more in an extraordinary championship.”
Balotelli left City soon after, and had spells and AC Milan and Liverpool, before joining Nice in France this summer.
His on and off the field troubles also means he is yet to play for Italy since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and Mancini believes it is the striker’s fault.
“If Mario today doesn’t play for the Italy side, it is his fault. It is incredible that he is not the starting centre-forward for his national side.
“He is the best Italian striker of the last few years. I hope Mario understands that he has to have a different attitude and think only about football. It is not that difficult.”