Manchester City news

Mancini: Mario must respect himself

December 21, 2012
By Richard Jolly

Roberto Mancini has described Mario Balotelli's £340,000 club fine as "normal" and told the errant striker it is more important for him to respect himself than to respect his manager.

Mario Balotelli missed Manchester City's game against Tottenham because of his poor attitude in training, Roberto Mancini has revealed
GettyImagesMancini wants more from Balotelli

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Balotelli abandoned his appeal against a fine of two weeks' wages imposed because he was suspended for 11 of Manchester City's 54 games last season.

The 22-year-old Italy international said he had accepted the punishment out of respect for Mancini, the supporters and the club.

But Mancini - who has long argued that it is up to Balotelli to realise his potential - said: "First of all he [should] respect himself, not me. Respect for himself is very important."

Balotelli was sent off twice last season and served additional suspensions for stamping on Tottenham's Scott Parker and for a red card against Dynamo Kiev in the previous year's Europa League.

He had planned to take City to a tribunal over the fine, but Mancini argued that it was right he had been punished.

"This is an old situation," he added. "I think it is normal when someone makes a mistake that he should take his responsibility. Mario did this. It is normal."

Balotelli did not travel to Newcastle for last week's 3-1 win and will not feature against Reading on Saturday, but that is because of a virus that forced him to miss training for two days.

"Mario is very unlucky," Mancini added. "He was ill this week, all week. He came in this morning [Friday], but can't do anything."

But Mancini confirmed that Balotelli's City career was not over, saying: "Mario is like the other players. If he deserves another chance, he will have another chance. Now he must deserve this."

Mancini cited the example of Kolo Toure, who served a six-month suspension in 2011 for taking a slimming pill that contained an illegal substance, but who fought his way back into the City side.

He added: "Kolo is another player who is part of our team and played well against Newcastle and Manchester United. If a player works well, he deserves to have the chance to play."