Bianchi reveals distaste for City drinking culture

Matt Gatward
Saturday 29 December 2007 01:00
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Rolando Bianchi, the hit-and-miss Manchester City striker, says he is amazed at the drinking culture that pervades the English game and has admitted he is keen for a move to Italy or Spain in the summer.

The Italian, who is in the running for Miss of the Season after scuffing a sitter against Blackburn Rovers on Thursday, has also criticised English food and is not particularly impressed with the protection he receives from referees.

Bianchi, who signed from Reggina in the summer and has scored just four goals this season, told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I am learning the language but I have raised the white flag with English food. I don't like it. And I think I am the only teetotaller in the whole Premier League. My team-mates were surprised when I refused a mouthful of beer.

"They looked at me as if I was an extraterrestrial. Tastes are tastes, and I have chosen for some time no beer, no wine, no alcopops."

Bianchi also feels English referees are too liberal. "I have had to get used to the referees," he said. "Here it's hard for a striker. In Italy if a defender touches you the referee blows. In the Premier League you don't get a free-kick even if the defender runs you over. I am getting used to this new refereeing rhythm."

But he would clearly prefer the rhythm on the Continent. "I want to be a top European striker," he said. "After 18 goals with Reggina last season I want to get into double figures in the Premier League. Then I will pack my bags and look for a new adventure. I would like to play for Atletico Madrid and also score 15 goals or so in La Liga."

But he feels Italy would be a more likely destination. "I will be back soon for a simple reason: my dream is to wear the national team jersey. Playing abroad won't help me. I would not refuse an offer from Inter, Milan, Juve, Napoli or Roma."

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