James Milner missing 'crazy' Mario Balotelli | inside World Soccer

Manchester City winger James Milner has admitted that although Mario Balotelli often behaved like a child during his time in England, he is missing the Italian striker.

Mario Balotelli celebrates a goal with James Milner and his then Manchester City teammates
Mario Balotelli celebrates a goal with James Milner and his then Manchester City teammates

Photo: Getty Images

Balotelli was sold to AC Milan for £22 million in January after two-and-a-half headline-grabbing years in England.

"I do miss him, actually," Milner told The Independent.

"He was crazy, he liked to be the center of attention and it was like having a 12-year-old in the dressing-room at times.

"But he was a good guy, he was harmless and I hope he does well in Milan. He's got ability and hopefully he can prove it over in Italy.

"You'd get those days where you'd think 'Mario - not today, leave it out', but it was very hard to hate him, despite the crazy things he did.

"At times Mario would step out of line and one of the lads would tell him. If he ever did that, it would go off, but half-an-hour later he would come in and apologise."

The England international went on to explain that Balotelli had to be kept occupied off the field to stop him being a "nightmare".

He added: "You had to keep him busy. We did a Christmas event for some children at the ground and Mario had to wait about half-an-hour to do his bit.

"We were thinking 'what can we do with him? He's going to be an absolute nightmare'. He ended up sitting in on an interview with Joe Hart for 20 minutes, then someone gave him an iPad to play Angry Birds on.

"You had to keep him occupied until it was his turn to meet the kids, but once he did he was great with them."


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