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The two attributes of Balotelli that stopped him from reaching same level as Messi, Ronaldo – Wesley Sneijder



Messi and Ronaldo are regarded as the greatest players of this generation and among the greatest ever to have played the game.

Sneijder believes Balotelli’s talent could have put him in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo and even among the greatest strikers in football ‘if he was normal.’

The former Dutch international told Sun that Balotelli was an incredible player but had ‘a big mouth and a tiny heart.’

“Balotelli was a player with a really big mouth and a tiny heart. He was an amazing player. He could have been one of the best strikers in the world if he was normal. His mentality was not always correct but he was a nice guy. For me, he was like a little child when he was with us,” he said.

He also talked about how difficult it was having the former Italian as a teammate while recalling a moment when former Inter manager Jose Mourinho made Balotelli warm up for 45 minutes as punishment during the Champions League final in 2010.

“We tried to manage that with him but it was really hard. Mourinho tried it but Mourinho was also a coach if you go against him, he will punish you even harder. That’s what he did in the [Champions League] final – he made him warm up for 45 minutes but didn’t put him on.”

Sneijder had no doubt that Balotelli would have been on the same level as Messi and Ronaldo if he had the right mentality.

“Definitely, definitely [up there with Messi and Ronaldo]. In training he was amazing, he had everything that a striker needs. But if your mentality is not correct you won’t make it.”

Sneijder reunited with Balotelli at OGC Nice in the French Ligue 1 before the former joined Al-Gharafa SC in 2018.

Mario Balotelli, the 2010 Golden Boy winner, currently plays for relegated Swiss side FC Sion- his 10th side since leaving Inter Milan.

He has had a bad-boy reputation throughout his career. His former Manchester City teammate Micha Richards in a previous interview revealed the Italian, during his time at Etihad, paid £100,000 in fines at the end of every season.

Richard was in charge of the funds that were given to Charity at the end of the season, coming from being late, messy, or generally anti-social, from inside the dressing room.

Balotelli once punched his teammate at Adana Demirspor when he was substituted.

Despite his career being seemly full of controversies, he has won eight major honours including, the Champions League, three Serie A titles, Premier League, Coppa Italia, Italian Suppercoppa, and the FA Cup.



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