Belfast Telegraph

Balotelli looking to reach the top

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has set his sights on becoming the best player in the world, but accepts he will have to adapt to life in English football first.

Balotelli endured a disappointing first Barclays Premier League start in the defeat to Wolves on Saturday, but could get another chance to impress in Thursday's Europa League clash with Lech Poznan if he shakes off a knock to the thigh in time.

"It was difficult for me on Saturday because it was my first full game after all the injuries," said Balotelli.

"Now I have to get as many matches under my belt as possible so I can understand the way the game is played here because it is very different from Italy.

"The tackles are harder and the referees don't seem to blow very often for fouls - in Italy, when someone makes contact with you, it's a foul, but that's not the case in England.

"It was my first game and it wasn't easy for me because I need to get to know my team-mates on the pitch and understand their movement and that comes with time."

Balotelli would not be the first player from continental Europe to find the culture shock of the Premier League a little too much, but he has no intention of letting that dampen his lofty ambitions.

"I want to be the best player in the world," he told

"It is good to have ambition. I've said in the past that I don't care what other people want or expect of me because I know what I want.

"I will always give everything because I want to become the best. That is my aim and I am determined to make it happen. I am here at City to play Champions League football, that's the competition I want to be in and that is what all the players here want to play in."


From Belfast Telegraph