Belfast Telegraph

Mancini would punch team-mate Balotelli

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini claims he might have punched striker Mario Balotelli had the pair been team-mates.

The City boss remains determined to get the best out of the controversial 21-year-old - who walked away unhurt from a car crash on Thursday afternoon - but admits he could see why team-mates could be infuriated by him.

Mancini said: "I can understand it. I told him if you played with me, 10 years ago, I give to you every day one punch in your head! I understand his team-mates, but there are different ways to help guys like Mario."

He added: "I think in every big game he played very well. I think his problem is his concentration but I work with him every day.

"I speak with him - not every day because if not I need a psychologist - but every two days I speak with him. He doesn't lose his quality. Mario, as a player, can be one of the top in Europe. I don't want him to lose his talent."

Balotelli was again in the news after an incident in Manchester city centre in which his car was involved in a collision with another vehicle.

The Italian, who drives a Bentley, is not understood to have been hurt but police confirmed a passenger from one of the vehicles had been taken to hospital as a precaution.

A statement from Greater Manchester Police read: "Shortly after 3.15pm on Thursday 5 April 2012, police were called to Medlock Street, Manchester City Centre to reports of a collision between two cars.

"The passenger of one of the cars was taken to hospital for precautionary measures.

"Inquiries are ongoing."

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