Mario Balotelli believes his larger than life antics that often overshadowed his Manchester City career are tolerated more so in Italy than they were England.
The striker left City for AC Milan in January 2013 and although he scored 20 goals in 54 appearances for the Blues, his off-field antics regularly overshadowed his exploits on the pitch.
Setting off fireworks in his house and throwing darts at youth team players were just someBalotelli’s well-documented incidents, but the striker claims Italians are more accepting of his activities.
The fiery forward has been in scintillating form for his new club however, scoring 22 goals in 31 appearances, including a wonder-goal against Bologna, which saw his side win 1-0.
Speaking to FourFourTwo magazine about his off field antics, he said: “These things happen in Italy as well, but no one gets up tight about it. Why should they?
“Unfortunately, some people always want to make a big deal out of this sort of thing. The important thing is that everyone gets on afterwards, and at City we always did.”
The manager who brought him to the Etihad Stadium, fellow compatriot Roberto Mancini, has also left the club.
The 23-year-old had a number of high-profile fallouts with Mancini, and manages Turkish club Galatasaray, during his time in Manchester but insists he is still fond of the former Blues boss.
“I like him, he was a really important figure in my development as a player,” he added. “I like him as a person and a coach.
“Yes, we had a few misunderstandings, but there’s nothing wrong [between us] and as I say, these things happen. You can’t like each other all the time, can you? Life’s not like that.
“I don’t think he’s the sort of person who sees such things as being a big problem either. Would I work with him again? Yes, I would.”
Image courtesy of calciostreaming, via Flickr, witht thanks.