Man City news

Balotelli: Attitude has improved

March 6, 2012
By ESPN staff

Mario Balotelli says he has knuckled down this season, the "grown up" striker insisting he realises the commitment required to play for Manchester City.

Mario Balotelli
GettyImagesMario Balotelli: Headline maker

Balotelli has hit the headlines for both good and bad reasons ever since leaving Inter Milan for City in the summer of 2010.

However, while his behaviour off the pitch continues to leave many perplexed, the Italian striker has found his form at just the right time for title-chasing City. That said, the player's comments come just a few days after he was partying into the early hours of Friday morning.

Balotelli is into double figures for the Premier League leaders, and the 21-year-old has pinpointed a change in attitude as the reason behind his greater consistency.

"This year I have already scored 14 goals and a pair of penalties, and the intensity and effort I put into training this year, are not comparable to last season," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I have grown up, I have understood certain things."

Balotelli's latest misdemeanour saw him pictured leaving a strip club little more than 36 hours before City's clash with Bolton. The youngster has yet to speak to manager Roberto Mancini regarding the matter and admits he has no idea whether he will be fined by the club.

"I have not done anything wrong at the strip club, even though I was wrong to go there two days before a game," he said. "The fine? I don't know yet. I have to talk with Mancini."

Newspapers have speculated he will be fined £200,000 for breaking club rules.