Balotelli: I really hope City beats Barcelona

Mario Balotelli believes Manchester City are capable of beating Barcelona in the Champions League last 16.

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Balotelli left the Etihad Stadium side for San Siro in January 2013, having failed to get out of the group stages of the competition with the Premier League side.┬áBut the striker is still fond of the club, and will be rooting for Manuel Pellegrini’s side against the Spanish side.

“City can definitely beat Barcelona, and I really hope they do,” he said at a Puma boot launch in Barcelona. “I have a lot of good friends there, so I will be cheering for Manchester City. But it will be a very difficult game.”

Milan’s poor form has seen them slide into the bottom half of Serie A, with Sunday’s 4-3 defeat at lowly Sassuolo resulting in the sacking of Massimiliano Allegri. ┬áHowever, the announcement of Clarence Seedorf as the new boss at Milanello has been welcomed by the club’s star striker.

“It was disappointing to see Allegri leave, but Seedorf has come in and it is very exciting to work with somebody like him,” Balotelli said.┬á”Seedorf’s record with Milan can be transmitted to the players. It is a good thing that he brings that experience with him.”

Balotelli’s former City manager Roberto Mancini is another feature of the knockout stages after a dramatic late win over Juventus saw his Galatasaray side progress at the Old Lady’s expense, and Balotelli admitted that his loyalties were split when watching the win-or-bust clash in Turkey.

“I was just hoping for a spectacular game┬áreally. I wanted Juventus to do well because I am Italian, but I had a very good experience with┬áMancini at City, so I want him to do well also.”