Balotelli reveals all in extensive interview with FourFourTwo.
AC Milan and Italy star Mario Balotelli has revealed that Brazilian legend Ronaldo was his idol while growing up, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is “incredible” and he believes he shares Mike Tyson’s attitude at times.
The 23-year-old was speaking in an interview with FourFourTwo which is set for publication in March’s edition of the magazine, and he addresses numerous topics surrounding his early life and football career thus far.
The former Manchester City star admitted that he misses the club’s supporters, but praised those in Milan as he looks to help lead his childhood club toward a successful future.
The Italian international has been in the headlines again recently after being seen in tears on the bench during the loss to Napoli on Saturday night, however, there is a sense in the media that they are now worried about him as opposed to continually criticising him.
Nevertheless, speaking prior to the weekend’s events, when asked about his inspiration, Balotelli discussed Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic as players he hopes to emulate, although there was also a surprise inclusion from the boxing world.
“When I was younger, I used to really like boxing, and Mike Tyson was the greatest. Do I have a bit of Tyson’s attitude when I’m playing? Maybe sometimes, a little bit,” he said, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Ronaldo was my idol when growing up. He was just fantastic, such a good player. He reminds me of why I love football.
“Ibra is an incredible player. Guys like him can show you what it’s possible to achieve.”
Balotelli went on to discuss how he perhaps should be tougher on the pitch against rivals who purposely attempt to wind him up, while he still holds aspirations of becoming the best player in the world as he looks ahead to the World Cup this summer.
“it’s a really big deal for me to play for the Azzurri. I’m very proud to play for Italy. I love playing for Italy. I don’t see the World Cup as being some sort of big stage for me. I just want to go there and enjoy the experience. And I will.”
After joining Milan, the controversial star appeared to be in top form as he also enjoyed a successful trip to Brazil for the Confederations Cup.
However, with his club form wavering in recent times, he will be determined to return to his best to help the Rossoneri progress in the Champions League ahead of what will undoubtedly be an important summer for him as he leads the line for Cesare Prandelli.