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Moratti: You can't change Balotelli
Published : 21 Jun 2012 14:48:29Rss feed
Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti believes Italy international Mario Balotelli should be accepted the way he is.
The Manchester City forward is playing in his first major international competition at the European Championship. The temperamental 21-year-old has been making headlines in Poland and Ukraine and not just for his talent, something that also happened when he was an Inter player.
"I am always ready to forgive everything," Moratti said to Italian newspaper Il Giorno. "I have an idea of what he (Balotelli) is like because I know Mario since he was a boy. He has a wonderful family, who adore him and protect him and he repays that affection."
He added: "But there is something in him that makes him distrustful of everyone, even those that appreciate him, as is the case of (Italy coach Cesare) Prandelli, who called him up to the national team."
Balotelli had an angry outburst after scoring in Monday's 2-0 triumph over the Republic of Ireland. Prandelli did not start Balotelli in that game but he came off the bench and scored his first goal in the tournament.
However, rather than celebrate, he looked into the direction of the Italian bench and shouted a few words before team-mate Leonardo Bonucci put his hand over the striker's mouth.
"You only have to look at the goal against Ireland," Moratti said. "You need a lot of interior strength to repress that joy that you naturally get when you do such an important act (to score for your country). Balotelli is like that. You have to take him as he is without pretending to want to change him."
Moratti does not regret selling Balotelli in the summer of 2010 to City. Moratti said: "His transfer? It was the thing to do at the time, even for his own interest."
Balotelli came under heavy criticism from Inter fans after he publicly wore an AC Milan jersey on an Italian television show, leading to an apology on the club's website. The Italian forward has nevertheless been linked in recent months with a return to Inter. However, Moratti, whose club made a 21 million euros profit on Balotelli's transfer to City, believes that even if Inter wanted him back, they could not afford him.
"To bring him (Balotelli) back? We are constructing a young squad," Moratti said. "With the (financial) problems we have in Italy, there are certain investments that you simply cannot make."