Previous
Dinamo Moscow
PSV Eindhoven
ESPN3 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Krasnodar
Everton
ESPN3 4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Standard Liege
ESPN3 5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rijeka
Sevilla FC
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Lille
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Slovan Bratislava
Napoli
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sparta Prague
BSC Young Boys
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AaB
Rio Ave
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dynamo Kiev
Steaua Bucuresti
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dinamo Minsk
Fiorentina
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Guingamp
PAOK Salonika
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
KSC Lokeren
Metalist Kharkiv
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Trabzonspor
Legia Warsaw
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Zürich
Borussia Monchengladbach
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Villarreal
Apollon Limassol
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Club Brugge
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Torino
FC Copenhagen
ESPN3 7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Asteras Tripoli
Partizan Belgrade
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
Besiktas
ESPN3 7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Celtic
Dinamo Zagreb
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
FK Astra Giurgiu
SV Salzburg
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Estoril
Panathinaikos
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Internazionale
FK Qarabag
ESPN3 7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
St Etienne
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Chicago Fire
ESPN2 12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Toluca
Guadalajara
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Douglas Haig
Argentinos Juniors
10:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Ferro Carril Oeste
San Martín de San Juan
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Palmeiras
Chapecoense AF
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
San Martin
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport Huancayo
Juan Aurich
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
UTC
Melgar
8:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Alianza Lima
San Simón
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Rubio Ñú
12 de Octubre
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cerro Porteño
Sol de América
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bolívar
Universitario de Pando
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nacional Potosí
Real Potosí
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Universitario de Sucre
Sport Boys Warnes
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Blooming
Wilstermann
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Deportes Quindío
Independiente Santa Fe
12:30 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
Deportes Tolima
12:45 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 20, 2011

Balotelli does not worry Mancini

Roberto Mancini insists he does not care about Mario Balotelli's enduring capacity to hit the headlines - all the Manchester City manager is bothered about is getting his young striker fit.

• Mancini plays down Lukaku talk
• Ronaldo warns Balotelli
• Mario Balotelli speaks out

Balotelli has courted controversy on a number of occasions in his short City career so far. He has been in a training ground bust-up with Jerome Boateng, reacted angrily to being substituted, ridiculed Arsenal's Jack Wilshere and claimed only Lionel Messi boasted as much talent as him.

This week, Balotelli has had a dig at Wayne Rooney, who he feels is not even the top striker in Manchester, in addition to boldly declaring City's forward line to be the best in Europe following the arrival of Edin Dzeko.

Cristiano Ronaldo summed up the feelings of many when he claimed Balotelli should "play more and talk less'', a pertinent statement given the former Inter Milan man is once again out of action with a knee injury.

However, Mancini is unconcerned about the player's statements, claiming they are a joke. He just wants Balotelli back on the pitch again.

"He talks, but he has also scored eight goals in 11 games,'' observed Mancini. "The big problem for us is that he has been injured so often. In three or four weeks he will come back and hopefully he can play well in every game.

"I haven't read the interview so I don't know what he has said. But he likes to joke sometimes and these things are jokes. We live in a free world. If someone wants to say something, it is better that he does. I respect every opinion.

"We are not in a war. We are free to say what we want.''

That Mancini had to ease tensions on Balotelli's behalf was not ideal. However, the front-man is presently in the United States undergoing some rehabilitation work on the injury he sustained whilst scoring a hat-trick against Aston Villa on December 28.

On his present recovery schedule, Balotelli should be fit for next month's Manchester derby at Old Trafford, which Mancini hinted might be one of the reasons for this latest outburst.

"Mario thinks Wayne Rooney is a fantastic striker,'' he said. "What he is saying is a joke. But United and City are in the same city, so these things are normal. It doesn't mean he is under any extra pressure though. He is 20. He doesn't feel pressure.''

As the end of the transfer window approaches, a number of English options are said not to appeal to Emmanuel Adebayor, whilst Monaco do not appear capable of completing the type of transfer that would interest City.

Real Madrid remain the most likely destination, with manager Jose Mourinho apparently keen for Adebayor to replace Gonzalo Higuain, who could miss the remainder of the season following back surgery.

Fulham have also expressed definite interest in Shaun Wright-Phillips, although City are looking to ensure there is some commitment to a permanent transfer before they will allow the winger to link up again with old boss Mark Hughes.

Brazilian striker Jo has also attracted interest from Birmingham, although with Alex McLeish only looking for a loan deal, that move would appear to be a non-starter.

"We have another 10 days,'' said Mancini. "It is possible something could happen but at the moment there has been no progress.''

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.