Manchester City's FA Cup winning striker Mario Balotelli rejoiced in the Wembley sunshine with a host of team-mates after the 1-0 victory over Stoke City but told reporters in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t happy with his season.
The striker completed the full course of the fixture and had a major hand in breaking the deadlock when his effort rebounded kindly for Yaya Toure to smash home but when quizzed on the day and the occasion by reporters on the Wembley pitch, the Italian described his season in a sensational manner.
“My season was s***, was not very good, today maybe I play more for the team. [Eric] Cantona was really a big player, but I am different, I am Mario,” Balotelli told ITV.
“I’m happy, I said to the guys before the game that we are better than them but we have to respect them because they are a team. But you have to give everything and if we give everything we will win. “
City’s players went about their business professionally on the day, controlling large parts of the clash and remaining solid and controlled after eventually taking the lead, a factor which pleased anchor man Nigel De Jong.
The Dutchman told ESPN: “We deserved it, from the first minute we dominated. Of course you know they’re going to come back with long balls and set pieces but I think we did a terrific job with the whole team and we dominated them and deserved the win today.
“The feeling is unreal. We worked so hard this year to win a trophy and to win the FA Cup, that’s just the end of a beautiful year and not only for the team but also for all the fans, they’ve been waiting for 35 years but to come out like this, I think the city will be blue for a very long time.”
The ending of a 35 year wait for a trophy seemed at the forefront of City minds as Vincent Kompany celebrated the victory.
Kompany said: “Look at our fans, 35-years, I don’t think people realise, it’s unbelievable and everybody is happy you know and for my personal opinion this is the first hopefully of many to come in the future. This is the target. We’ve laid won the first brick and now we can build the house on it.”
Despite wrapping up a week in which the club secured both their first domestic trophy in 35 years and Champions League qualification for the first-time, England men Micah Richards and Joe Hart were keen to look to the future and Hart was adamant the day belonged to the blue half of Manchester, despite rivals Manchester United wrapping up Premier League glory earlier in the day.
“I couldn’t care less what they do at Old Trafford, it’s nothing to do with Man United today, it’s all about Man City and these fans, players and staff,” said Hart.
“We deserved to win the cup, we beat the best, we beat a very good Stoke City side. I know we’re brilliant, a bit more consistency next season and you never know.”
His compatriot Micah Richards added: “It’s unbelievable, I can’t describe it, we’ve worked hard all season and we’ve won it, I can’t believe it, look at the fans, they’ve been there from day one, it’s unbelievable.
"This is the start, this is the first one and this is most important one, it’s about building from this, it’s exciting times and we’ll get bigger each year.”