I’ve never heard of Jack Wilshere, says Mario Balotelli
Manchester City striker wins Golden Boy trophy and claims never to have heard of the Arsenal youngster
Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has been named the best young player in Europe – and insists he has not heard of second-placed Jack Wilshere.
Balotelli, 20, won the Golden Boy trophy voted for by European journalists to recognise the most talented player under 21.
The former Inter Milan striker beat 18-year-old midfielder Wilshere to the prize and then claimed he did not even know who the Arsenal youngster was.
“What’s his name? Wil … ? No, I don’t know him, but the next time I play against Arsenal I will keep a close eye on him,” Balotelli said. “Perhaps I can show him the Golden Boy trophy and remind him that I won it.”
Balotelli then insisted he is better than most of the previous winners of the prestigious award, which includes the likes of Wayne Rooney and CescFabregas.
He said: “There’s only one that is a little stronger than me: [Lionel] Messi. All the others are behind me.
“I am delighted to receive the award, but who should have won it but me? Two years ago I finished sixth and then fourth in 2009. It was finally my turn. My aim is that this prize will transform itself into the Ballon d’Or. To have won this award is a good omen to achieve that.”
And the Italy international is targeting a haul of silverware during his first season at Eastlands. He added: “For 2011 I want the Premier League, in order to continue with the tradition I had at Inter of winning three consecutive titles, and to clinch the Europa League, a trophy I have not yet won and a competition where we are considered favourites.”