Balotelli settles scores on Milan unveiling
AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli hit out at the English media, weather and food, but had kind words for former club Manchester City as he was officially unveiled at the San Siro Friday.
Balotelli, who grew up as a fan of the Rossoneri, joined Milan for a fee of around 30 million euros in a deal that will see him remain at the Serie A giants until 2017.
Although admitting he would miss the "amazing" English Premier League, Balotelli said he was "really happy" to have returned to Milan, where he played for arch city rivals Inter prior to his City move in 2010.
The football aside, the 22-year-old admitted there are few things he will miss about England.
"The press first, the weather, the food," replied Balotelli when asked to expand on an earlier answer about the bad things he experienced during his two-and-a-half-year stay in the Premier League.
To one journalist from The Sun tabloid newspaper, Balotelli took a firmer stance.
"Ever since I arrived in England, your newspaper has always talked bad about me. So I don't want to talk to you," he added.
Seemingly admired and reviled in equal measure in the Premier League, where his off-field antics garnered as much if not more attention than his feats on the pitch, Balotelli said he would miss City, their manager Roberto Mancini and the club's fans.
"I don't have regrets, but I have to say thanks to all the City fans because they have all been nice to me, they always supported me in the good times and the bad," he added.
"I also have to thank my team-mates and the manager (Mancini) as well."
When asked what good things he would miss, Balotelli said: "Good things? Only when I get to play and train, my team-mates and the manager.
"To be honest, the Premier League is an amazing league and I think it's the best."
He added: "The bad things - everything else."
Presented to a 100-strong media by Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani, Balotelli - dressed in a smart suit - was first treated to a video of earlier goalscoring exploits with City.
The video stopped on a famous picture of Balotelli sitting in a Milan cafe while wearing an AC Milan shirt. It was in 2010, while he was still at Inter.
Balotelli was presented with the same number 45 shirt earlier this week, and again on Friday evening.
AC Milan have a reputation for being one of Europe's strictest clubs when it comes to managing their players, and controlling rumours surrounding them.
It remains to be seen if Balotelli, who endured a tumultuous time at City, will get his wish of a successful stay in Milan, where he hopes to remain "for as long as possible".
Asked by AFP of the significance of his move, and what he expects from the different style of football in Serie A, Balotelli replied: "Of course it's a dream come true. (For) a long time I wanted to come here and I couldn't.
"I'm not expecting anything. I'm just looking forward to playing with my teammates."
He added: "I'm here to win, to succeed, to play good football. To play for Milan is very important for me.
"It's an honour, and I want to remain here as long as possible."
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