EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Roberto Mancini hopes Balotelli doesn’t end up like Adriano

The Italian says that his former player is a ‘good lad’ and that he would hate to see him waste his obvious talent.

Roberto Mancini hopes Balotelli doesn’t end up like Adriano
PAUL ELLIS AFP

Roberto Mancini says he’s happy to see Mario Balotelli getting his career back on track in France with Nice.

Mancini delighted at Balotelli's success in France

“He’s a good lad, with a big heart, and very polite. He’s very respectful, in my opinion,” he told L’Equipe. “Sometimes he can get you worked up but it’s hard not to want him to succeed… I’m very happy for him because things are going well in Nice.

The former Manchester City and Inter Milan manager coached Balotelli at both clubs, first in Italy (2007-08) and then again in England (2010-2013). Their relationship was notoriously up and down.

He should score at least 20 goals!” he said. “He shouldn’t need to lift up his shirt or anything to celebrate because it should become something normal.”

Balotelli has made an impressive start to life in France with Nice, who top the Ligue 1 table after eight games

Don't end up like Adriano, says Mancini

Known for his unpredictable personality, Balotelli looks to have put his disappointing spell at Liverpool behind him in France, scoring 5 goals in just 3 games for Ligue 1 leaders Nice.

However, Mancini did have some words of caution for the Italian, urging him to avoid the fate of another high-profile striker who lived years of success in Serie A: Adriano.

“He’s only 26 but a career goes in a flash,” he said. “You can’t waste the talent that God gave you. I remember Adriano, who I also coached at Inter. He could have been incredible, but he lost his way.”