Mario Balotelli has revealed the secret behind his 100 per cent penalty record for Manchester City.
The eccentric Italian striker believes that it is his mental strength which allows him to win the psychological battle against the opposing goalkeeper.
He told Time Magazine: “It’s just like a game of the mind, between me and the goalkeeper.
“Me, I know how to control my mind. When the keeper moves before me, it means that in this game of the mind he has lost.”
With racism dominating the off-pitch agenda in the past months, Balotelli observed that it is a problem rooted in ignorance.
“Racist people are few, in the minority, but you can do nothing to change them,” the forward observed. “You can talk, you can do what you want, but you can’t do anything because they are just stupid people.
“When I wasn’t famous, I had a lot of friends, almost all of them were Italian. The racism only started when I started to play football.
“But me, personally, I hope I can help Italy to be a modern country, like England or America.”
Balotelli also spoke about his bond with manager Roberto Mancini, whom he followed from Inter to Manchester City.
“My relationship with Mancini is really important. He’s known me since I was young and he’s like a father to me,” the 22-year-old explained.
“I used to play with the young children at Inter, so I know him very well and I can tell him anything.
“I have to train hard every training session and give everything on the pitch. You have four or five things that the manager asks you to do, then you have to play like you can play and give everything.”