Mario Balotelli insists he’s better than Rooney, Fabregas (and he’s never even heard of Wilshere) after winning Golden Boy award

December 21st, 2010

Striker Balotelli

Mario Balotelli has been named the best young player in Europe – and claims he hasn’t heard of second-placed Jack Wilshere.

The troublesome Manchester City striker won the prestigious Golden Boy award voted organised by Italian newspaper Tuttosport and voted for by journalists across Europe to recognise the most talented player Under 21.

Highly rated Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David de Gea – wanted by Manchester United – is third, but it is runner-up Wilshere who got Balotelli scratching his head.

‘What’s his name? Wil…? No, I just don’t know him, but the next time I play against Arsenal I’ll try to be careful,’ said the Italy international. ‘Maybe I could show him the Golden Boy trophy and remind him that I won.’

Balotelli clearly hasn’t been paying enough to City’s rivals, with Wilshere widely regarded as the most promising English player of his generation.

The 18-year-old has been a regular starter this season and earned an England debut as a substitute against Hungary in August, but he missed Arsenal’s 3-0 win at City in October because of suspension.

Everton inflicted a second home defeat on Roberto Mancini’s side with a 2-1 win on Monday night, but Balotelli is still expecting big things at Eastlands.

Despite reiterating his desire to one day play for the team he loves – AC Milan – the £24million summer signing believes he can first win the Barclays Premier League title with City.

‘For 2011 I want the Premier League – to continue the tradition with Inter that saw me win the last three championships – and the Europa League, a trophy I’m yet to win and that surely we are favourites for.’

Asked about the incessant calls from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to join him at Milan, Balotelli replied: ‘I tell Ibra to continue calling me to Milan, and one day we will fulfil the wish and I can play in the Rossoneri shirt.’

Wilshere (fourth left) trains with his Arsenal team-mates at London Colney

Confident as ever, Balotelli seems to have little qualms about how his flirting with Milan will play among the City fans just months after signing at five-year contract at Eastlands.

But the Golden Boy award is only fuelling an already inflated ego. Balotelli insists he is better than previous winners such as Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas and Rafael van der Vaart – and has his eye on being recognised as the best in the world.

‘There’s only one that is a little stronger than me: Messi,’ he said of former Golden Boys. ‘All the others behind me.

‘I am delighted to receive the award, but who else would have won if not me? Two years ago I finished sixth and then fourth in 2009. Now it’s my turn, no?

‘My goal is, in the near future, to turn this award into the Ballon d’Or, without any age limits. Winning the Golden Boy is certainly a good omen.’


2009 Alexandre Pato
2008 Anderson
2007 Sergio Aguero
2006 Cesc Fabregas
2005 Lionel Messi
2004 Wayne Rooney
2003 RafaellvanlderlVaart

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