16 May 2012

Mancini vows spend-up in Champions League quest

6:43 am on 16 May 2012

The Manchester City football manager Roberto Mancini has vowed the newly crowned Premier League champions will splash out in a manner similar to Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona in their bid to win the Champions League.

Mancini says Barcelona and Real Madrid buy two or three players every year and spend a lot of money and he thinks City will do the same as they need to improve to have the strength to play Champions League and Premier League.

Real Madrid and Barcelona have spent an estimated total of more than $200 million each over the last two seasons to recruit players.

City now have the spending power to match the Spanish giants and, as Mancini plans his quest for European glory, he is pleased with how his side have dealt with the pressures of the Premier League this season to become top-flight champions for the first time since 1968.

The 47-year-old says City were worthy winners of the title because, unlike second-placed city rivals Manchester United, they were never beaten heavily by anyone.

Mancini also says his relationship with strikers Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli remains good, and it's not difficult to manage Tevez, the Argentinian who refused to play for City for six months after refusing to come off the bench during a Champions League game at Bayern Munich in September.

The manager says Tevez is a good guy and they have always had a good relationship, though he doesn't know why they had that situation in September but in the end he's a good guy and a fantastic player.

Balotelli received two red cards during the season, and Mancini has words of caution for his compatriot, who he calls an incredible talent, saying he's different, he's young and so sometimes he can have bad behaviour. But it's important for him to understand he can lose his talent.

He says Balotelli can play football for another 10 or 12 years and he hopes that now, after this title, he can understand that it's better that he starts to work in a good way.