Balotelli - Go easy on Tevez
Striker asks fans not to boo striker when he returns to City
Last Updated: March 9, 2012 9:55pm
Mario Balotelli: The Man City striker is asking fans to get behind Carlos Tevez when he returns to action
Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has urged fans to go easy on Carlos Tevez when he returns to the side.
The Argentine has not featured for the Premier League leaders since September but has returned to training after a lengthy dispute with manager Roberto Mancini.
Tevez had left the club without permission and he was widely expected to leave City during the January transfer window.
But, after failing to move on, Tevez could now become an important part of the City team for the Premier League run-in.
"I don't like when people talk about my business with my life. I'm really private. Maybe some people think I'm really arrogant."
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Balotelli, who has been a regular fixture in Mancini's side, is looking forward to the return of his team-mate and wants fans to show the same enthusiasm for his comeback.
He said: "I think supporters have to be like they were before. If they make pressure on Carlos, they make pressure to all the team, so they should do nothing.
"I think everyone can make a mistake. Carlos is part of the team. He's just a part of the team, so everybody loves him."
The enigmatic Balotelli has courted the headlines on and off the pitch since joining City from Inter Milan in the summer of 2010.
Most recently the 21-year-old earned the ire of Mancini following last week's 2-0 win over Bolton after it emerged he had attended a strip club the night before the game.
After scoring in the win Balotelli claimed his performances on the pitch were all that mattered, claiming also that he has struggled in the media spotlight since moving to England.
"I don't like when people talk about my business with my life. I'm really private," he said. "Maybe some people think I'm really arrogant.
"I don't care, they can say what they want. I'm a footballer so the most important moment is Sunday on the pitch."
He added: "If I go in the street and one guy gets a picture, they say, 'Mario was there'. Someone calls the press and says, 'Mario was there'. The day after that they say, 'Mario was there'. Is that normal?
"I'm just walking in town like a normal guy or I go to the pub. I've been to the pub, yeah. Not to drink."
Balotelli also claimed he would never have moved to City had Mancini, who he worked under at Inter, not been in charge.
"Yes. If Mancini wasn't here I'm never coming," he said. "Now that I am here I'm OK. I'm happy.
"If Mancini says something, he's right. I'm 21, I'm still young. I think already from last year I'm bigger in my head."