Sergio Aguero has defender Manchester City team-mate Mario Balotelli in the wake of the Italian’s violent conduct charge.
The Italian faces a four-match ban if found guilty of stamping on Tottenham’s Scott Parker, and with the FA setting a deadline of Wednesday at 6pm for the striker to respond to the charges, it seems likely Balotelli will miss the second leg of the League Cup semi-final against Liverpool.
But Aguero has jumped to the defence of the 21-year-old, hailing his football abilities and insisting the off-field Balotelli is not the same to the fiery character often seen on the pitch.
“Firstly we all know what a fantastic player he is. And off the pitch, everyone has their own path,” Aguero told The Sun.
“But those of us who are really close to Mario know that off the field he’s a really good lad.”
“Like a lot of players he has his own idiosyncrasies here and there. Everyone knows him as a player from what you see on the field. But I know that off the field he’s a lovely lad.”
“He’s a young lad, he takes care of himself and approaches his life as he wants.”
Midfielder James Milner also had kind words for Balotelli, offering the striker support and reiterating how important an asset his is to the club’s Premier League title charge.
“Mario is good to have around the place. He scores important goals and hopefully can score a few more winners between now and the end of the season,” Milner said.
“Is it a welcome distraction? Maybe, as long as it is at the right time. You can always rely on Mario to set some fireworks off to get the headlines.”
“He is just very confident in his own ability. He has lots of that. He is fun to have around the place.”
“I don’t think I have done an interview this season without being asked about him. It sums up what a character he is.”