'I love Mancini and the fans are the best' - Balotelli on emotional Manchester City exit

The 22-year-old has thanked the club's supporters after they sang his name during the 0-0 draw with QPR on Tuesday and praised his former manager for showing faith in him
Mario Balotelli has lauded Manchester City's fans as "the best" after completing his move to AC Milan.

The Italy international brought to a close a headline-grabbing two-and-a-half year stay in the Premier League by sealing a £20 million return to his homeland on Thursday.

And, in a farewell interview with the club's official website, the 22-year-old looked back fondly at his time at City and thanked the supporters in particular.

"For sure I will remember my brilliant team-mates, the manager and all the supporters," he said.

"They are the best, they were great with me and I will always have a very special place in my heart for City, it’s a great club with a great future.
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"I thank them for all of their support of me. Maybe one day we will see each other again. I think to win the Premier League was a very special moment, and I am proud to have been a part of that.

"I will remember, too, the song that City fans had for me. It was special for me and I always liked to hear it. I hope they can still sing it sometimes still, even if I’m not there.

"Someone told me the fans sang it at QPR; that is nice."

As Goal.com exclusively revealed on Wednesday, the two clubs had been locked in discussions over a proposed move for nearly two months, but the deal was only given the green light this week.

And, having sealed a move to the club he reportedly supported as a youngster, Balotelli expressed thanks to City boss Roberto Mancini for overseeing his development.

He added: "Yes, I said goodbye to everyone at the meal in London before the game at Queens Park Rangers. It was a very emotional for me.

"I spoke with Roberto before I went to speak to the players. We spoke for some time about lots of things.

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"He was sad, and I was too. But it was a good conversation. I love Roberto, he has been very important for my career, and I will always thank him for having trust and faith in me.

"Being at City was an important part of my life and career. I needed to grow up like a player and as a person and it has been a very good experience for me

"I will always be interested in Manchester City and their fortunes.  I really hope that City can win the league again this year and beat United. I think there are great players at the Club and a great manager too.

"The club will be very successful in the future and that makes me happy."