By Tony Alvarez

“Well, there is only one player who is a tiny bit better than me: Leo Messi. The rest are behind me!”

The above is a quote from Manchester City’s young Italian enigma Mario Balotelli, I agree that everyone that who either is or aspires to be at the top of the game needs a certain amount of confidence or swagger, but Balotelli is bordering on arrogance.

Balotelli who was awarded the golden boy award (which in itself is ridiculous) ahead of young Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere carried on to say “I don’t know who Jack Wilshere is, to be honest. But the next time I play against Arsenal I will keep a close eye on him.”

I will start of by criticising the awards, as regular readers will know I am a Arsenal fan who highly admires Jack Wilshere, but second in young player of the year is not justified. When he was playing for Bolton in March half the World hadn’t heard of him now suddenly he is the best player in the World, not for me.

Whilst Balotelli did feature a bit more for his club side, despite a ban enforced by his own manager Jose Mourinho, you would be pushed to say he had a huge impact in Inter’s treble winning side. Whether you agree with the decision or not Balotelli was not even selected in the Italian squad for the World Cup, hardly fitting for the best young player on Earth.

You can’t blame Balotelli or Wilshere for being given the awards but for what Balotelli said after he received the award he will have to take responsibility for.

Whilst it is possible that Balotelli has never heard of Jack Wilshere I find it very hard to believe, I find it hard to believe that you haven’t heard of a player who has started the majority of games for one of your biggest title rivals.

Not having heard of Wilshere is unlikely but plausible, considering yourself the second best player on earth despite achieving not very much is plain disrespectful.

Players such as Cristiano Ronaldo is proved in two of the world’s best leagues consistently winning games single handedly and scoring 30+ goals a season despite not being a striker.

Players such as Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Wesley Sneijder to name just a few have equaled and extended Balotelli’s Footballing achievements. Balotelli may have the potential to reach their levels but he is a light year away from them on current ability. 

Balotelli saying Messi is only a little bit better than him is ludicrous, much like Ronaldo Messi has won everything there is to be won in club Football and consistently played at an immensely high level.

There is no doubt that Balotelli has potential, if he learns to put his head down stop his moaning and put in the required effort he could be a very good footballer.

However, it is my personal opinion is that Balotelli does not have the potential nor the mental capabilities to reach the levels of the players mention above. He may well be a very good player in the future but in my opinion he will never be great.

When Balotelli has taken the Premiership by storm scoring 25-30 goals and pushing his side into winning things then he can come back with these quotes and perhaps be taken seriously, until then I think he would be wise to keep quiet.

 What do you think? Am I too harsh on him? Is he as close to Messi and co as he believes? Is saying he has never heard of Jack Wilshere pure arrogance or is he genuine? Leave your views.