Thursday, January 31, 2013


Grateful: Mario Balotelli described Manchester City fans as the 'best in England' after leaving the club for Milan
AC Milan new signing, Mario Balotelli has labelled Manchester City fans the 'best in England' after leaving the champions for Milan.

The Italian striker left City for the team he supported as a child, but vowed to remember his former club, manager Roberto Mancini and his ‘brilliant team-mates’.

The striker, whose £20million move was confirmed this morning, was mobbed by fans last night in Milan when he went out for a quiet meal with club vice president Adriano Galliani. 

Hundreds of Ultras waving banners and setting off fireworks and flares gathered outside Milan's Giannino Restaurant where he was set to dine with the club's hierarchy.

And video footage showed Balotelli, wearing an orange cap, jumping up and down right in the thick of it. But the celebrations were tarnished, and ended in a fight between fans and police when tear gas was fired to disperse the noisy crowd.

Despite the intense passion shown by fans of his new club upon his arrival in Milan, the former Inter striker said that City fans were up there with the best in the world.

The controversial forward said it was emotional to leave Manchester and that he hopes his former team-mates can pip rivals Manchester United to the Premier League title this season.

He told City’s official website: ‘For sure I will remember my brilliant team-mates, the manager and all the supporters. 

‘They are the best, they were great with me and I will always have a very special place in my heart for City, it’s a great club with a great future.

'I thank them for all of their support of me. Maybe one day we will see each other again.

'I think to win the Premier League was a very special moment, and I am proud to have been a part of that.'

Mancini had declared that he thinks of the 22-year-old like one of his own children, and Balotelli reciprocated the sentiment, saying that he loves his former boss and thanked him for his influence on his career.

After talking to Mancini at length, he said goodbye to his team-mates at a pre-match dinner on Tuesday.

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