Mario Balotelli on playing with Zlatan Ibrahimović: “He would always tell me that I was limited, that I should give up on football.”

Brescia forward Mario Balotelli spoke at length in an Instagram Live, with Fabio Cannavaro, about the prospect of returning to the national team as well as the next steps in his career. Towards the end of the conversation, the striker had some words for former team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimović.

“I have a special relationship with [Roberto] Mancini. If he was going to call me up, he wouldn’t do it just to leave me on the bench. When I deserve it, I’ll be there and I’ll play. Right now it’s only right that he calls up whoever deserves it the most.”

“I would be happy at Napoli, my daughter Pia supports them. I would make her the head of the ultras. I sing ‘Brescia, Brescia’ to her, but she keeps supporting Napoli. When I took her to the San Paolo she was so happy, she was hypnotised.”

“The first time I had training with Inter I was 16 years old, I looked around and there were Adriano and Cruz, I thought it was all a joke. I looked at Ibrahimović and he said to me “Do you really think you’re playing here? You’ll be training today, then you’re off.”. He would always tell me I was limited, that I should give up on football. But he was the one who told Mino Raiola that there was only one player who was better than him. He could do nothing all game, then decide to change the game and score. I always saw him as a god, he was impressive.”



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