'I would have preferred to play in Italy' - Mario Balotelli signs off from Inter in typically controversial style

Italian striker tells of his 'difficult year'

Manchester City new boy, Mario Balotelli has admitted that he would rather have stayed in Italy than join the Premier League.

The promising 20-year-old striker put pen to paper on Friday to join Manchester City on a five-year deal.

City fans have been excited by the prospect of the youngster however, the former Inter Milan playmaker has said he would have “preferred” to remain in Italy.

 “I’m sorry that I’m leaving Inter and Italy, because I would have preferred to continue my professional career in my country,” Balotelli wrote on his official website.

“I’m going where I hope to find the space I need to play, which is very important for me.

"I need to play, to make mistakes, to learn and to play again. As well as a calm environment around me.

“It’s been a difficult year: I’ve recognised my mistakes, but I think I’ve often been under pressure and on the receiving end of criticism that at times has irritated me.

“Now all I’m thinking about is playing well for my new club and in the Premier League. I really want to give it my best try.”

He continued: “I’d like to thank my family, who have supported me with so much patience and affection, through both the good times and the difficult periods.

“I’d also like to thank club chairman Moratti, the team I’ve shared so many victories with, the fans who’ve supported me, my entourage and my friends."

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