Roberto Mancini tells Mario Balotelli to heed warning over indiscipline

 

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has urged striker Mario Balotelli to take heed of Italy coach Cesare Prandelli's warning.

Balotelli was left out of the squad for Italy's international friendly defeat by the United States this week with Prandelli publicly citing the player's indiscipline as a reason.

The 21-year-old has been sent off twice for City this season and missed eight games through suspension, although three of them were a European ban hanging over from last year.

Mancini has already asked his maverick forward to focus fully on his game for the closing months of the campaign and he hopes Prandelli's remarks reinforce the message.

Mancini said: "I think it is correct. We know that Mario is a top player but he should improve his behaviour.

"For the national team it is important. When you go to play in the European Championship and you only play three or five games, you should have good behaviour."

Balotelli impressed as he scored the opening goal and produced a disciplined performance in the Barclays Premier League leaders' 3-0 win over Blackburn last weekend.

It is such displays that leave Mancini in no doubt about Balotelli's ability.

Mancini said: "Mario is the best Italian striker, for sure - 100%."

Balotelli has scored 13 goals in all competitions this season while fellow strikers Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko have also struck 21 and 18 times respectively.

As well as that prolific trio, City could also have the striking option of Carlos Tevez as they look to claim their first title since 1968 in the coming months.

Tevez is now back in training following the end of his dispute with the club and had a run-out with the reserves earlier this week.

But the Argentinian, who has not played for City since September and spent more than three months away without permission, is still short of match fitness.

Mancini believes the 28-year-old is at least another fortnight away from a return.

Mancini, speaking at a press conference to preview tomorrow's game against Bolton, said: "I think he needs a minimum of another two weeks.

"In these two weeks it is important he plays two or three games with the reserves. He needs to play on a big pitch.

"For him it is like pre-season, after three months it is not easy to play.

"At this moment he can't play. Maybe in two weeks he could be ready."

Mancini accepted Tevez's apology for his conduct last week and says that matter is now closed.

When asked if the pair had met and put their problems aside, Mancini said: "Yes, we did everything."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'