• Premier League

Balotelli leaves City with a heavy heart

ESPN staff
January 31, 2013

Having wrapped up his move to AC Milan, Mario Balotelli is backing Manchester City to win the title this year.

The forward brought the curtain down on his colourful Manchester City career when putting the finishing touches to his move to Milan on deadline day - signing a deal until 2017.

He has proved a controversial figure, with his undoubted talent often overshadowed by his on and off-field antics.

Balotelli has not always seen eye-to-eye with City boss Roberto Mancini, but he has praised his fellow Italian and feels he has matured under Mancini's guidance.

"For sure I will remember my brilliant team-mates, the manager and all the supporters," Balotelli told the club's official website. "I think to win the Premier League was a very special moment, and I am proud to have been a part of that."

Reflecting on his final hours at City, Balotelli said: "I spoke with Roberto before I went to speak to the players. We spoke for some time about lots of things. He was sad, and I was too. But it was a good conversation. I love Roberto, he has been very important for my career, and I will always thank him for having trust and faith in me.

"Being at City was an important part of my life and career. I needed to grow up like a player and as a person and it has been a very good experience for me.

"I will remember, too, the song that City fans had for me. It was special for me and I always liked to hear it. I hope they can still sing it sometimes still, even if I'm not there. Someone told me the fans sang it at QPR; that is nice.

"I will always be interested in Manchester City and their fortunes. I really hope that City can win the league again this year and beat United. I think there are great players at the club and a great manager too. The club will be very successful in the future and that makes me happy."

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