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Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Ronaldo roars back at Balotelli

ESPNsocernet staff

Cristiano Ronaldo has told outspoken Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli to talk less and concentrate on his football.

• Balotelli takes swipe at Rooney

Italian international Balotelli has been at the centre of a number of controversies since joining City from Inter Milan last summer and recently made headlines by taking a swipe at Manchester United's Wayne Rooney.

But Real Madrid star Ronaldo, who made his name at United alongside Rooney, hit back in Gazzetta dello Sport: "Balotelli? He's a good player but he must talk less and think about playing more.

"In the Premier League, if he knows how to listen and wants to learn, he could become a great player. I hope he achieves that. However, today he puts many other things ahead of his career and this is not good."

Balotelli, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury, is set to go head to head with Rooney in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on February 12.

"He [Wayne Rooney] is a very good player but not the best in Manchester," Balotelli said on Tuesday. "Our attack of Balotelli-Tevez-Dzeko is the best in the world - better even than Barcelona and Real Madrid. We are the strongest and we can win things now - we just lack conviction."

The City striker also delivered his verdict on his former coach at Inter, Jose Mourinho, and said current boss Roberto Mancini would soon be regarded a better manager.

"Mourinho is the best coach in the world but as a man he has a lot to learn about politeness and respect," he said. "[Mancini is] the most important coach I've had. Soon he'll be the best in the world. As a man he's 10km ahead of Mourinho."

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