Robinho criticises Mancini over lack of freedom

Robinho has criticised Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini for not giving him the freedom to express himself.

The Brazil striker joined City for a British record £32.5million in the summer of 2008 and made an instant impact, finishing as the club's leading scorer in his first season.

But this season has been a different story as, first under former boss Mark Hughes and then Mancini, Robinho spent most of his time on the bench.

He was loaned back to his first club, Santos of Brazil, last month and marked his debut on Sunday with the winning goal in their 2-1 win over Sao Paulo.

Talking of Mancini's tactics, Robinho told the Daily Mail: "He has a different way of thinking. In Brazil, the coach respects the player's characteristics.

"In Europe, they are used to playing with two lines of four players and they don't want to know what you can do.

"There, if you are a forward, the coach sends you on to the pitch just to run. You have to run and that's it."

Robinho is due to return to City after the World Cup, and he is confident he can showcase his talents in South Africa.

"I am preparing mentally and physically to be the best player at the World Cup," he added. "I'm at a good age. I have to get flying."