English Premiership

City sorry for Balotelli 'warning'

2012-10-17 21:31
Mario Balotelli (AFP)

Rome - Mario Balotelli's agent says Manchester City contacted him to apologise for their perceived criticism of the controversial striker.

It was widely reported in Britain at the weekend that Balotelli had been warned he must set a better example with his behaviour on and off the pitch.

"I think that it's important to make a good example," City's chief football operations officer Brian Marwood was quoted as saying by several English newspapers on Sunday.

"I think - and we all know who we are talking about - that you will get people within the system who do not show the right values and the right behaviour."

But according to Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, Marwood said his comments had been misinterpreted.

Raiola told Italy's Radio 24 on Wednesday: "Brian Marwood telephoned me and asked me to excuse him for these comments which were badly interpreted by the English press and Mario understands the situation, no problem."

Raiola added: "In England, journalists often twist things like that and their newspapers are only good for cleaning windscreens."

The Italian press did not escape Raiola's wrath either, the agent talking about "the highs and lows of the Italian press, sporting or not, towards Mario Balotelli. There is no balanced viewpoints... with him (Balotelli) everything is news."

Balotelli has been involved in a number of high-profile and often bizarre incidents since joining City from Inter Milan in 2010.

The 22-year-old has been involved in bust-ups with team-mates, threw a dart at a City youth team player and set off a firework in his own bathroom.

Earlier this month, Balotelli angered City manager Roberto Mancini by walking straight down the tunnel rather than staying to support his team-mates after being substituted.

But he was praised by the Italian media for his performance in Tuesday's 3-1 World Cup qualifier win against Denmark when he set up a goal, got on the scoresheet, and helped out in defence.

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