Mancini says Balotelli must accept life as 'squad player' with Man City

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 22, 2012 08:31 hrs

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has said striker Mario Balotelli must learn to adjust his life as squad player in the team due to the presence of four world class strikers in the team.

Mancini insisted football reasons, rather than disciplinary matters, led to the Italian forward being banished to the Santiago Bernabeu stands for Tuesday's Champions League defeat against Real Madrid.

Almost three months after cementing his status as a star of Euro 2012 with an outstanding two-goal display in Italy's semi-final victory against Germany, Balotelli found himself relegated to the ranking of Mancini's fourth-choice striker against the Spanish champions.

Mancini admits Balotelli cannot expect to be the focal point of City's forward line as he is for Italy under coach Cesare Prandelli.

"We have four top strikers and, usually, we play with two while two stay on the bench with me. I have to take the best decision for the team," the Telegraph quoted Mancini, as saying.

"Afterwards, you might see it as a mistake, but before the (Real Madrid) game, I thought it was a good decision. It was a tactical decision because I had two strikers, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, on the bench and three would have been too much," he added.

"He (Balotelli) was upset about not being involved, that's normal. I don't think there can be a player who doesn't play and is happy," he said.

Mancini added: "Mario went to the stand because we decided to play with only (Carlos)

Tevez. Mario is a player like other players - when he is on the bench sometimes he doesn't understand."

Balotelli is expected to start on the bench for City's Premier League match against Arsenal on Sunday. (ANI)

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