Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is once again making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The 21 year old Italy international missed City’s 1-0 loss to Sunderland yesterday for reasons that still remain very unclear.
According to City manager Roberto Mancini, Balotelli was not included in City’s line up because of an ‘ankle problem’. Speaking after the match, Mancini downplayed fears that Balotelli could miss Tuesday’s crunch fixture against Liverpool.
“Balotelli? He had a problem in the training session yesterday with his ankle and for this reason was in the stands. I hope he will be okay for Liverpool.
“I hope that my players can understand that we are a top team and we can’t concede a goal like that.
“I was really disappointed.”
However, that is not the reason borne Mancini has to pick with Balotelli. Mancini has advised the player against a very bad habit that he has picked up on and that could potentially determine his playing career.
Balotelli who smokes on average 5 to 6 cigarettes everyday has been the subject of controversy for City since signing for the club from Italian giants Inter Milan.
Though his smoking habit irritates Mancini, the coach has maintained that he will not be taking any action to stop the habit. Speaking to reporters, Mancini said that his personally preferences did not allow him to entertain smoking.
“Yeah, yeah I know this,” I know that he smokes, yes.
“For me it is not ok but I am not his father,” Mancini said.
“If he were my son, I would give him a kick up the arse but he is not my son.
“I have told him it is better that he doesn’t smoke because I am always against cigarettes and that’s why my son doesn’t smoke.
“There are players in Italy who smoke and some over here but I don’t think he smokes a lot – maybe five or six a day.”
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