Mario Balotelli tells Noel Gallagher he needs to mature

Manchester City's Mario Balotelli admits he has to grow up as he gives the BBC an exclusive interview involving Oasis star Noel Gallagher.

The Italian striker has been involved in a number of controversial incidents since joining City in August 2010.

When told boss Roberto Mancini wanted him to mature, Balotelli said: "If Mancini says something, he's right."

The forward added: "But I'm 21, so I'm still young. I think from last year, already I'm bigger [older] in my head."

Balotelli was fined a week's wages after breaking a curfew ahead of City's 2-0 win over Bolton at the weekend.

And he was disciplined by City for throwing a dart at a youth team player in March 2011.

Firefighters were also called to the forward's detached house in Cheshire in October when his bathroom was set alight by fireworks.

The Italy international was also substituted in a pre-season friendly for showboating, had a bust-up in training with Micah Richards, and wandered into a Manchester school to look for a toilet.

Balotelli rarely gives interviews but agreed to speak to former Oasis man Gallagher, a City fan and self-confessed admirer of the player, for the BBC's Football Focus.

He told Gallagher he is happy in England and said Mancini, who coached him at Inter Milan, was a major reason he decided to join City, for a reported fee of around £20m.

"If Mancini wasn't here, I never come here," said Balotelli, who was born in Sicily to Ghanaian immigrants. "But now that I'm here, I'm OK, I'm happy."

Balotelli, who began his career with Serie C side Lumezzane, added that he was a "really private" person and said he could not understand why being seen about Manchester caused such excitement in the media.

"I don't like when people talk about my business or my life," he said. "I'm really private. Maybe someone thinks I'm arrogant or something but it is just me.

"I don't care, they can say what they want. I just walk in town like a normal guy. I go to the pub. Not to drink."

Balotelli has become one of many influential players for City, who currently top the Premier League.

He has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season, finding the net in each of City's last three league games.

With 11 matches to go, City, who take on Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League on Thursday, are two points ahead of neighbours Manchester United.

Ahead of the game against Sporting, Mancini confirmed Balotelli has been fined a week's wages for breaking curfew.

He also warned Balotelli and the rest of the City squad that they needed to think about their actions before matches.

"I've spoken with Mario and given him a one-week fine for what he did," said the City boss.

"It's a no-no. Every player should have good behaviour before the game."

Watch the full interview on Saturday's Football Focus at 1215 GMT on BBC One and this website.

You can also find out more about the interview between Gallagher and Balotelli by reading Dan Walker's behind-the-scenes blog.

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