Mancini: I'd have punched Mario every day
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini confessed he would have punched Mario Balotelli every day if he had been a teammate of the hothead striker.
Balotelli has tested Mancini's patience throughout the season with a series of unwise incidents on and off the field, ranging from hosting an indoor firework display to training ground brawls.
The 21-year-old walked away unharmed from a car wreck in the center of Manchester on Thursday, an incident for which the club said he was not at fault.
Yet Balotelli's behavior has been blamed as a reason for City's recent struggles on the field, with him openly arguing with teammates in games.
Mancini said he still believes he can help coax his fellow Italian into becoming a world-class player but recognized that he would have adopted a more direct approach if he had worked with him during his own playing days.
"I told him, 'If you played with me, 10 years ago, I give to you every day one punch in your head!'" Mancini said. "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."
Mancini added, "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."