Balotelli: I could've been at Messi/Ronaldo level

World News

Italy star Mario Balotelli has insisted he could have reached the heights Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi did had things gone differently for him in his career.

The former Manchester City striker had previously claimed that he was just as good as the two stars during a training session in the 2011/12 campaign.

That comment had come a year after Balotelli had won the Golden Boy award, with the forward clinching a treble with Inter Milan before making the move to the Etihad in August 2010.

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In a recent meet-up with his ex-City teammate Nedum Onuoha, who was at that training session when he made the remark, the marksman did not change his tune, although he admitted that he failed to take his opportunities when he had them.

"I missed some chances to be at that level," Balotelli told Onuoha in an interview for The Athletic.

"But I am 100% sure that my quality is the same level as these people, but I… I missed some chances, you know? It happens.

"And nowadays, I cannot say I'm as good as Ronaldo, because Ronaldo won how many golden balls (Ballons d'Or)? Five? You cannot compare yourself to Messi and Ronaldo, nobody can.

"But if we're talking about only quality, football quality, I have nothing to be jealous of them, to be honest."

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The 31-year-old also revealed what he considers to be the biggest mistake of his career.

"I think that was my biggest mistake, to leave City," he added.

"Even in the year when I left, I played very well in Milan for a year and a half, but after that, I had some problems. And now that I'm older, I know that I shouldn't have left City at that time.

"All these years seeing City improving, improving and improving. I could have been here like Sergio Aguero for a long time.

"If I had my mindset now, when I was at City, probably one golden ball (Ballon d'Or) I could have won, I'm sure about this.

"But you know, when you grow up, you mature more, so…"

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