New AC Milan acquisition Mario Balotelli has reflected on his time at Manchester City following his €21 million transfer from the City of Manchester Stadium. During Balotelli's first press conference as a Rossonero, Balotelli thanked his fans and teammates before turning his attention to his future with AC Milan.
According to ESPN, Balotelli had this to say about his time in Manchester:
I have to say thanks to all the City fans because they've been very nice to me and they always supported me in the good and in the bad moments.
And I have to thank my team-mates, and the manager. Everything else, I'm happy that I left England.
Good things - only when I get to Carrington to train. So my team-mates and manager. And the bad things? Everything else. The press, first. The weather. The food. The way you drive. That's it.
The Italian international's move to Italy is by far the biggest of the January transfer window. At just 22 years of age it is hard to believe that Balotelli has already played for four years in Italy's top flight—in his previous cameo with crosstown rivals Inter Milan. During that time, Balotelli was part of Jose Mourinho's historic treble-winning Inter side.
Balotelli's arrival at the San Siro couldn't have come at a better time for Massimo Allegri's struggling side. Milan currently lie in fifth position in the Serie A, 12 points adrift of league leaders Juventus. Whilst it is not expected that Balotelli will lift Milan out of such a position, fans everywhere will certainly be hoping for Champions League qualification.
Following his time at Manchester City, Balotelli has certainly had his fair share of headlines in the English media. Yet, upon listening to him speak at his Milan press conference, he already seems to be a changed man. Perhaps it is the fact he is returning home? Returning to Italy? Only time will tell whether Balotelli has indeed matured, but he had this to say about his return.
It has always been a dream for me to play for Milan and I am happy to be back near my family but I would rather play than talk about it.
It's an honour and a great opportunity so I hope to grow as a player and I am here as a man.
I hope to stay here as long as possible.
Milan face Udinese this weekend with Balotelli's debut expected. He will hope that his poor scoring form will remain in Manchester after only netting three times in all competitions for the Citizens this season.