Balotelli: I've played like a boy, now I must be a man

The 25-year-old has vowed to learn from his mistakes and make the most of his second chance at AC Milan after ending his Liverpool nightmare to secure a return to his homeland

Mario Balotelli has vowed to grow up and conduct himself “like a man” following his return to AC Milan.

The 25-year-old ended his Liverpool nightmare this week by securing a loan move back to San Siro after becoming persona non grata under Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.

And the Italy international says he must learn from his mistakes and grab his second chance with both hands as he looks to resurrect his career back in Serie A.

“I have played and lived as a boy,” he told Gazzetta Dello Sport.

“Now I will live and play as a man. I know that many do not believe in me, but I have a duty to try and to make sure I succeed.

“The past must be remembered to avoid making the same mistakes, but the future cannot be viewed through a rear view mirror. The time has come to turn a page and look forward.

“Things haven’t gone well. I have wasted several opportunities. But the game is not over… I still have a second chance.”

After starting his career with city rivals Inter, Balotelli hit 26 goals in 43 league appearances for Milan following a 2013 switch from Manchester City.

However, he found the net just once in 16 Premier League outings for Liverpool last season and was forced to train alone during pre-season after Rodgers banished him from all first-team duties.

He is also yet to appear for his country since last year’s World Cup, but is hoping a return to form at Milan could keep his Euro 2016 dream alive.

“I have to do well with Milan in order regain the Italy shirt,” he said.

“But right now I just have to work hard and take it one step at a time. If I can get things together then maybe I can make it to France. 

“I want to play the European Championships and I will do everything to achieve that. To see me play for the national team was one of my father’s wishes before he died. I owe it to him.”

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