Mario Balotelli has hit out at Zlatan Ibrahimovic, suggesting that the Swede’s departure helped Inter Milan in winning the Champions League.
The former Italian international spoke at the Trento Festival of Sport, via FCInterNews. He addressed the recent digs aimed at him by former Swedish international and Nerazzurri striker Ibrahimovic.
In a recent interview, Ibrahimovic took aim at his former Inter teammate Balotelli.
The veteran former striker suggested that the ex-Inter striker had not taken the chances he had to get the most out of his talent.
The Swede also gave his thoughts on the 2010 Champions League semifinals.
That season, Ibrahimovic was playing for Barcelona. He had left Inter to make the move to the Camp Nou in the previous summer.
And for his part, Balotelli feels that it was not altogether coincidental that Ibrahimovic left right before Inter enjoyed their most successful season of the modern era.
Balotelli: Ibrahimovic Leaving Helped Inter Win Champions League
“Ibrahimovic and I have always had a normal relationship,” Balotelli said of the Swede.
“It wasn’t easy playing with him because he can annoy you,” he went on.
“I have a stronger character than he does, which is why I don’t let what he says bother me too much.”
“But when you play with him you always give your best,” Balotelli said of Ibrahimovic. “In that sense his influence on me was constrcutive.”
As far as Ibrahimovic’s influence in the dressing room as AC Milan won the Serie A title two years ago, Balotelli said that “I don’t know.”
“He was certainly decisive on the pitch, and he was decisive with me at Inter too.”
As for whether Ibrahimovic was like an older brother for him, Balotelli replied “Nah. Materazzi was way more like that for me.”
“However, I’ll repeat, I don’t think I wasted all my opportunities.”
“Ibrahimovic leaving at the start of the 2009-10 season helped Inter win the Champions League,” the former striker continued.
“What Snmeijder, Eto’o, and Milito did was unique,” he said. That trio signed for Inter off the back of the massive transfer fee that the Nerazzurri received for Ibrahimovic.
“I got along great with Sneijder. So much so that we eventually even reunited at Nice.”
And of striker Milito, Balotelli said that “He was like King Midas that year. He scored with every touch.”
“He deserved the Ballon D’Or,” he said of the Argentine who scored both of Inter’s goals in the 2010 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
Lastly, Balotteli mentioned that “Eto’o is always a decisive player.”