'Mario Can Be Like Messi & Ron'
29 November 2012
Roberto Mancini has called on Mario Balotelli to prove he is as good as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The Italian striker started for Manchester City ahead of Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko against Wigan last night, and bundled home the champions’ opener in their 2-0 win.
But even though he scored, Mancini was not especially impressed.
He thinks his fiery compatriot can play better, and has challenged Balotelli to improve.
"I think Mario can do better," Mancini said.
"He scored one important goal but can continue to improve. For me, he did not play very well."
"As a player, he could be like Cristiano and Messi if he understands that, to be like this, you should work hard, your mind should be always on your job and not on the other things that are not important,” Mancini added.
Balotelli has been linked to a move back to the Italian Serie A in January, as he grows frustrated by the lack of regular game time at the Etihad.
But Mancini insists that Super Mario remains an important part of the City set-up, and that he will not be sold any time soon.
"No, no, we are not looking to sell Mario," Mancini said. "I am very happy for him because he scored his first goal this year and I hope he can improve on this.
"His goal was important because it changed the game for us. After that, everything changed.
"Mario is one of the four top strikers here and it is clear they have had some difficulty to score lots of goals like last year.”