Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has described Mario Balotelli as a ‘funny kid’.
The Portuguese endured a fractious relationship with the striker during his time with Inter Milan and often argued with the Italy international over his off-field behaviour.
However, Mourinho has moved to play down any suggestions of a rift between himself and Balotelli, insisting that he found the player amusing.
“I could write a book of 200 pages of my two years at Inter with Mario but the book would be not a drama, the book would be a comedy because he’s a funny, he’s a funny kid,” he told CNN.
Mourinho went on to suggest that City boss Roberto Mancini is the perfect mentor for the young striker, as his long relationship with Balotelli makes him ideally suited to get the best out of him.
Indeed, Mourinho warned the 22-year-old that if he fails under Mancini then he is unlikely to ever reach his full potential as a player.
“Mancini was his first coach as a professional, so before me,” he said.
“So for sure the same feeling I have, Mancini has probably even more than Mario.
“You know, Mario was 18 with Mancini at Inter, was 20 with me. Now, he should be 22, so the natural tendency is that he grows up and becomes the player that the talent he has.
“I’ve no contact with Mario in this moment, but I hope so. I hope so and Roberto knows him well, speaks the same language, knows him since he was a kid, so if he doesn’t do it with Roberto, it will be difficult to do with another one – but I hope so because he’s a talent.”