• Serie A

Balotelli angry at TV pundits

ESPN staff
April 26, 2014
Mario Balotelli had some questions for his manager after Clarence Seedorf brought him off in the second half © Getty Images

Mario Balotelli had harsh words for Sky Sport Italia pundits after he was substituted during AC Milan's 2-0 defeat to Roma on Friday, saying they "don't understand anything about football."

Balotelli did not get a shot on goal before manager Clarence Seedorf sent on Giampaolo Pazzini in his place in the 69th minute.

After the match but before meeting with the media, Balotelli overheard pundits Zvonimir Boban, Giancarlo Marocchi and Christian Panucci saying on air that he was "not a top player."

Asked about his substitution, Balotelli then gave a a biting response.

"It was a normal game. I didn't understand my substitution at first, but since in the studio they said I'm not a top player then maybe that's why," he said.

Balotelli blamed his midfield for failing to get him the ball against a capable Roma defence.

"When the ball doesn't arrive in the box, you have to go back and get it," he said. "Roma are very strong and play great football."

Marocchi, who played 18 seasons for Bologna and Juventus and was on Italy's 1990 World Cup squad, then asked Balotelli if his failure to move without the ball prevented him from being a top player. In response, Balotelli launched into a rant.

"You don't understand anything about football. Trust me, you really don't," Balotelli said. "It isn't nice? I don't care. I don't care.

"I never said I'm a top player. I am a perfectly normal player, it will take time to become world class, but the reasons why I am not a top player are not the same reasons you think.

"Every game is different. If I didn't get near the goal once tonight, then there has to be a reason.

"You always talk about me. When Milan win, Mario's great. When Milan lose, it's all Mario's fault. I don't need your criticism, I make my own criticism.

"You always talk and talk, say I'm precious to Italian football, but there's no point to saying these things. No point."

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