'I will give him another 100 chances': Roberto Mancini forgives Mario Balotelli

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Pair were pictured shoving and pulling at each other's clothes

Roberto Mancini has played down yesterday's controversial bust-up between himself and Mario Balotelli, claiming the incident was “nothing special”.

Pictures taken at City's Carrington training ground emerged showing the manager entering into an extraordinary shoving match with his striker.

The incident sparked when Mancini took exception to a challenge from Balotelli on team-mate Scott Sinclair. Mancini ordered the striker to leave the training ground and when he refused Mancini tried unsuccessfully to force him by dragging him away.

Eventually the two were separated by coaches Brian Kidd and Massimo Battara and the player belatedly went in to change.

Immediately there were suggestions that the incident could lead to Balotelli's departure from Manchester City, however Mancini has played down the episode.

"I think the photos show the worst of what happened," Mancini said in a pre-arranged press conference to preview City's FA Cup tie with Watford.

"It was nothing special. There was no fight, this was not true."

Mancini went on to explain how the events unfolded, suggesting he only lost his temper for a moment.

"We were playing a game and Mario kicked his team-mate.

"I said to him, 'Go inside, leave the pitch'. He said no and I took his shirt and pushed him out of the pitch.

"This is what really happened, nothing special."

When asked if he lost his temper, Mancini said: "No, no. For two seconds, yes - during three or four seconds because he didn't want to leave the pitch.

"He can't do this against no one, but then it was finished."

Mancini has been one of Balotelli's most fervent supporters, standing by the 22-year-old despite a string of on and off field incidents since the player joined from Inter Milan in 2010.

Some felt this could be the last straw by Mancini has forgiven his player and said he will give him many more chances.

"I will give him another 100 chances if possible, if I think he can change. I am here for this.

"Sometimes I am upset with him because he doesn't everything for this, but I give him another chance, sure.

"He is 22 and he can do a mistake."

When asked if Balotelli would face any disciplinary action, Mancini said: "No, no. This doesn't change my thoughts. This is something that can happen.

"Usually it is between two players. It is different because I wanted him to leave the pitch after what he did."

Balotelli has not played for City since the disappointing derby loss to Manchester United on December 9, when he headed straight down the tunnel after being substituted.

He was dropped for the next match at Newcastle and it emerged soon after that Balotelli was planning to take the club to a Premier League tribunal in a dispute over an internal fine.

He dropped that challenge but his since missed the last four games due to a virus.

When asked if Balotelli could start against Watford, Balotelli said: "No, he trained only four times this week. Not in the starting line-up, maybe on the bench.

"I spoke with Mario yesterday after training, I speak with him always.

"It is not easy to manage him and we can talk about him, but my thoughts about him don't change."

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam