"City fans are the best in England" - Balotelli
- Thu 31 Jan 2013, 10:11AM
- Posted by @baileymcfc
Mario Balotelli admits that leaving City was an emotional wrench but has vowed never to forget his time with the Blues.
After signing for Milan the Italian striker spoke candidly about his last day as a Premier League player, his relationship with Roberto Mancini and his love for "the best fans in England".
“For sure I will remember my brilliant team-mates, the manager and all the supporters. They are the best, they were great with me and I will always have a very special place in my heart for City, it’s a great club with a great future,” he declared. “I thank them for all of their support of me. Maybe one day we will see each other again.
"I think to win the Premier League was a very special moment, and I am proud to have been a part of that.
"And the 6-1 win at Old Trafford was also a big moment in my life. I know what that meant to the supporters, the joy it gave them. To have scored in that game and been part of that history will always live with me.”
Balotelli said goodbye to his teammates at the pre-match dinner in the hotel ahead of the 0-0 draw at QPR and admitted it had been a poignant moment.
“Yes, I said goodbye to everyone at the meal in London before the game at Queens Park Rangers. It was a very emotional for me,” he 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.
As Balotelli touched down to join Nigel de Jong at the San Siro, he paid tribute to the City supporters for making him feel so welcome at the Etihad Stadium.
“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 love the fans at Manchester City; they are the best in England, maybe the world.”
“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.”
Roberto Mancini admitted that the 22-year old will be missed and wished him all the best in this new chapter of his career.
“With Mario we won the FA Cup, we won the Premier League and the Community Shield," Mancini said.
"I thank Mario for all his contribution to this team, I think he’s an important player for the history of this club."
“We are very sorry for him because he leaves the club but we hope Mario can continue to improve and continues to work hard because he is a top, top player.”