What a difference a day makes: Balotelli and Mancini bid to patch up training-ground row
13:49 GMT, 29 March 2012
It was the day after the training ground bust-up before, as Roberto Mancini and Mario Balotelli locked horns for the first time since their very public row.
The duo clashed at Manchester City's Carrington complex on Wednesday, with the 24million striker at the centre of a very severe dressing down from Mancini.
Frosty: Balotelli and Mancini were back at training 24 hours after their bust-up, as the striker larks about (right)
But the “Why Always Me” star was back to his flamboyant best on Thursday, pictured emulating the famous 'Scorpion kick' made famous by Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita, and more crucially, snapped alongside a composed Mancini.
The story couldn't have been more different on Thursday as Balotelli was ordered away
from the main group of players and told to train on his own by
Mancini, in the latest of an ever-growing list of controversies to hit
the Italian star.
Furious: City boss Mancini gives Balotelli a dressing down at the club's Carrington training ground
The Barclays Premier League title contenders dismissed Wednesday's heated row as an example of the high standards set by Mancini, who himself provoked controversy at the weekend after refusing to speak to the media following City's 1-1 draw at Stoke.
But the training ground incident is likely to fuel speculation that the Blues are feeling the heat in their bid to land their first top-flight title since 1968.
Blast: Mancini launched a 15-second assault on Balotelli before Attilio Lombardo orders the player away
Balotelli, who was fined 120,000 earlier this month after he was pictured outside a Liverpool strip club just 36 hours before City's clash with Bolton, has scored just four goals in his last 13 appearances.
And his latest headline-maker comes less than 24 hours after he interrupted the unveiling of new Inter Milan manager Andrea Stramaccioni.
The lonely road: Balotelli is pictured leaving the scene of his row with the Man City manager
The 21-year-old parked a red Ferrari outside the press briefing, burst in and for reasons still unknown simply shook hands with those behind the top table, wished the new manager luck, and left without so much as an explanation.
Inter CEO Ernesto Paolillo, who travelled to London with the NextGen-winning youth squad last week, said the visit from the City striker was unexpected but not unusual.
Centre of attention: The 24m striker left the tactics pitch to join a fitness training session
'He came to say hello to everybody at the training centre then left,' Paolillo told Sportsmail.
'We did not know he was coming but it's not the first time. It's typical of Mario. I see him sometimes when he comes to Milan.
He's at it again: Balotelli caused controversy on Tuesday after gatecrashing Inter Milan's press conference
'I did not see the Ferrari as I was inside the press conference unveiling our new coach Andrea. We kissed hello and he left. We had no time to speak. I've known him at Inter since he was a young boy.'
Balotelli and the rest of his City team-mates have been given a couple of days off by Mancini, who himself jetted to Europe where he was seen in Bosnia.