Roberto Mancini laments Mario Balotelli’s ‘disappointing’ downward spiral when he ‘should be at his peak’ after his old Manchester City striker lost the plot and PUNCHED Adana Demirspor team-mate
- The talented forward is now playing at Turkish Super Lig side Adana Demirspor
- After being substituted for Demirspor last month, he smacked his team-mate
- Ex-Man City star Balotelli left second-tier Serie B side AC Monza this summer
- The Italian is widely considered to have wasted his genuine talent in his career
Roberto Mancini has lamented the ‘disappointing’ and dramatic career downward spiral of Mario Balotelli after his former player punched a team-mate.
Sportsmail reported last month that the volatile Italian hit his Adana Demirspor team-mate, livid with being substituted.
And Mancini told RAI Sport that it was a sad state of affairs for anyone who knew him that Balotelli has not fulfilled his vast potential.
Roberto Mancini lamented Mario Balotelli’s downward spiral in his career as ‘disappointing’
Balotelli (right) punched one of his Adana Demirspor team-mates (left) after being substituted
He said: ‘I worked with Balotelli when he was young and did really well. He was and still is in terms of technique a great player. Let’s not forget he is 31 years old, so ought to be at his peak.
‘Clearly, it was disappointing for all of us who knew him as a person and a player that in the last five or six years he was unable to do what he was capable of doing.’
Balotelli made headlines on August 29, coming off in the 56th minute at home against Konyaspor and then lashing out.
Mancini managed him at Manchester City but sold him to AC Milan after a bust-up in training
He also took Balotelli off in the first half of a pre-season friendly for trying a risky back-heel
Balotelli scored 14 in 36 games for Italy but is widely considered to have wasted his potential
He threw his shinpads on the floor, yelled at a coach and team-mate and then struck out at the latter, but his team-mate did not react.
The 31-year-old joined the Turkish Super Lig side after leaving second-tier Serie B side AC Monza this summer, yet to score in three appearances, and has bounced around several clubs including Nice, Marseille and Brescia in the last three seasons.
Balotelli did well under Mancini at Inter Milan but was pushed out by his successor Jose Mourinho due to disciplinary problems, then infamously had a run-in with Mancini in Manchester City training and fell out of favour there as well.