Nasri: I accept criticism as long as it's justified

The midfielder was singled out for his below-par performance by Roberto Mancini at Manchester City before clashing with a journalist at Euro 2012, but he is keen to start afresh
Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has admitted recent some criticism of his performances on and off the pitch have been fair, but maintains much has been exaggerated.

The France international clashed with a journalist at Euro 2012 last summer, before then-Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini publicly vocalised his disappointment in the 25-year-old's performances.

Nasri acknowledges he has made mistakes and feels he has matured of late, but insists his portrayal by some is in deep contrast to the real him.

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"I feel good at the moment, more relaxed, but the last few months were very trying for me," Nasri told

"Some of the criticism I got hurt me. I accept criticism as long as it's justified, but there were lots of lies. I made mistakes, I know, but I'm not the ugly duckling that some people seem to think.

"I've learnt from my mistakes and I feel more mature now. I'm still young and I know I have a lot to learn. These last few months have made me grow as a man."

Nasri was part of the title-winning City squad from the 2011-12 season, but they were unable to replicate that feat last year - watching neighbours Manchester United lift their 20th league title.

Despite the disappointment, Nasri believes it will inspire City to perform even better next season.

"It was a very disappointing season. Losing our title of English champions was a failure that was difficult for the whole squad to swallow," he continued.

"We didn't manage to win a single trophy, and that's disappointing for a club with the standing of Manchester City. We had a very testing year but we'll learn from our mistakes to have an excellent season next year."

A successful season for City this year would also give Nasri the opportunity of ensuring he can help France qualify for the World Cup in Brazil, and he says playing for Les Bleus is of utmost importance to him.

He added: "One of my priorities is to get back in the France team as quickly as possible. Wearing that blue shirt is very important to me and I'll do everything to win back my place in the squad.

"[Brazil] is one of the biggest football countries on earth and the sport is like a religion for Brazilians. I don't think there's a single footballer who wouldn't want to play such an important competition in a country like Brazil. It's a legendary place."