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Balotelli claims Man City attack is 'better than Barca'

Mario Balotelli
Balotelli helped Inter knock Barcelona out of the Champions League last season

Mario Balotelli believes that Manchester City's new-look strike force is the best in world football.

Currently out with a knee injury, the 20-year-old says he cannot wait to link up with new £27m signing Edin Dzeko and the club's captain Carlos Tevez.

"Our attack of Balotelli-Tevez-Dzeko is the best in the world," he said on Tuesday. "We are the strongest. Better even than Barcelona and Real Madrid."

The Italian also claimed he is better than Manchester United's Wayne Rooney.

"He [Rooney] is a very good player but not the best in Manchester," former Inter Milan striker Balotelli, who also feels that United fans admire him, told Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport.

"Do United fans insult me? No, they stop me in the street and say: 'Mario, come to us'. But I dream of beating them because I know how much the City fans care. They are wonderful with me."

England international Rooney, who has also suffered with injury in recent months, has scored three times this season while Balotelli has scored eight times since moving from Italy in August.

Mourinho is the best coach in the world. But as a man he has a lot to learn about politeness and respect. Mancini, as a man, is 10km ahead of Mourinho

Mario Balotelli

City manager Roberto Mancini has already declared his intention to unite Dzeko and Tevez in attack with Balotelli, who recently won the Fifa Young Player of the Year award.

After that prize was announced, he claimed to have never heard of the runner-up - Arsenal's Jack Wilshere.

And his latest comments are likely to cause surprise at World Player of the Year Lionel Messi's Barcelona, the reigning Spanish champions and 2009 Champions League winners, now widely considered to be one of the greatest attacking teams of all time.

He has also hit out at Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, whom he played under at Inter for the past two seasons as the pair fell out consistently over Balotelli's attitude.

Former Chelsea manager Mourinho banished him from the first team for seven matches last season before Inter finished with an unprecedented treble in Italian football with Balotelli mostly a substitute.

"Mourinho is the best coach in the world but as a man he has a lot to learn about politeness and respect," added Balotelli.

"[But Mancini] he's 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."

Balotelli has been ordered to rest for a couple of weeks after which his present injury, which may need an operation, will be assessed.

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see also
Man City complete Dzeko signing
07 Jan 11 |  Man City
Mancini warns boastful Balotelli
23 Dec 10 |  Man City
More to come from Balotelli - Mancini
02 Dec 10 |  Man City
Striker Balotelli unhurt in crash
01 Sep 10 |  Manchester
Balotelli 'could outshine Torres'
23 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Mancini defends Balotelli's reputation
17 Aug 10 |  Man City
Balotelli wanted to stay in Italy
13 Aug 10 |  Man City
Will Balotelli gamble reap rewards?
13 Aug 10 |  Man City
Man City complete Balotelli deal
13 Aug 10 |  Man City

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