Translated by RaytheReds,
Mario Balotelli interview: Tell the Man City fans that when I hear them chant my name I'm smiling inside
原作者為Daily Mail記者Mark Ryan，以下保留英文原文，並附上中文翻譯，各位讀者可以選擇個人最喜好的閱讀方式。
Mario Balotelli wants to know if the rumours are true. ‘I have heard that people are betting on how quickly I will end up in prison,’ he says. ‘Is this true? It’s all over the internet.’
The 20-year-old striker may have brought a reputation for petulance — some would say wildness – with him when he joined Manchester City in a £24million move from Inter Milan last August, but the young Italian is at pains to stress that his sights are on a Premier League title, not a spell inside.
當這位年僅二十歲的前鋒，在去年八月以兩千四百萬歐元的轉會費，從Inter Milan加盟Manchester City時，易怒、愛鬧脾氣，抑或是不服管教的壞名聲，也跟著他同行。但是年輕的義大利人力圖證明，他把一切的心思和目標，都放在獲得英超的桂冠，而非場外的花絮新聞。
He insists that the image many in football have of him as troublesome and divisive is unfair and untrue, although training-ground scuffles, notably with City team-mate Nigel de Jong, clashes with managers, including a difficult relationship at Inter with Jose Mourinho and the odd brush with the law over his driving have not helped his cause.
被視為一個破壞團隊和諧的麻煩製造者，Balotelli堅持足球圈裡普遍對他的壞印象，是不公平且不正確的；儘管在訓練場和隊友Nigel de Jong的打架事件、和多位教練之間的衝突，(尤其是和Jose Mourinho在Inter那段艱困的關係)、以及離譜的駕車肇事意外，都讓他很難站的住腳。
Others have spoken of the positives Balotelli can bring to the game. Carlo Ancelotti, manager of title rivals Chelsea, says: ‘He is one of the best young players in Europe, he has got everything to be successful in the Premier League. It is up to him to become more mature. But if he can play every week, he will soon become one of the most important players in the league.’
不過還是有許多人對Balotelli在場上的表現給予正面的評價。與Manchester City敵對的Chelsea總教練Carlos Ancelotti說：“他是歐洲最佳新秀之一，他擁有一切能在英超成為成功球員的潛質，如果他變的更成熟的話。但是如果他每週都能出賽，他立刻就會成為英超聯賽最重要的球員之一。”
Another fellow Italian, Roberto Mancini, his manager at City, goes even further. ‘This is a player with such potential that, if he fulfils it, he could be decisive in every match,’ he says.
另外一位義大利同鄉，Balotelli在Manchester City的總教練Roberto Mancini，則對Balotelli更讚譽有加：“他可以成為每場球的關鍵人物，只要他不辜負自己所擁有的潛力的話。”
The counter-balance to that came in the wake of Balotelli’s low-key hat-trick in the 4-0 victory over Aston Villa last week. Mancini, apparently frustrated by Balotelli’s lack of joy at his achievement, said: ‘When you score three goals in a Premier League game, you should celebrate. Every day I fight against Mario and sometimes I would like to give him a punch.’
Balotelli’s response to that — ‘He couldn’t. I do Thai kick-boxing’ — is symptomatic both of his playful humour and the immaturity highlighted by Ancelotti. The enigma of Balotelli is that while his touch on the field can be sublime, earning him the nickname Super Mario, his temperament and attitude can appear surly, although, in his defence, two penalties and a tap-in against Villa were never going to stir his blood.
然而Balotelli對Mancini的回應：“他不可能打贏我的，我會打泰拳”，則在在證明了，Balotelli儘管頗具幽默感，卻也突顯出Ancelotti先前所提及這位年輕球員的不成熟。Balotelli讓人捉摸不透的，是他在場上的表現是如此華麗出眾、替他贏得Super Mario的美名；但他的暴躁的脾氣和粗鄙的態度，卻令人不敢恭維；儘管根據他為自己的辯護，對陣Aston Villa個人包辦的兩個點球和一個補射的火燙表現，仍然沒辦法使他的情緒亢奮起來。
Balotelli, left out of yesterday’s Premier League clash with Blackpool because of a knee injury, is adamant that his desire for City to succeed should not be questioned. ‘I want City’s supporters to know this,’ he says. ‘When I heard them chant my name the other night, as I scored those three goals, it gave me a really warm feeling inside. Sometimes I don’t smile outwardly but I am smiling inside and that is how it was when I heard them.’
儘管因為膝蓋傷勢，而錯過了昨天對陣Blackpool的英超聯賽，Balotelli仍然堅信自己想要替Manchester City贏取榮譽的渴望不應該被質疑。Balotelli說：“我希望Manchester City的球迷們知道，我踢進三個進球的那個夜晚，當我聽到他們呼喊著我的名字時，我內心感到無比溫暖。有時候我不會開懷大笑，但我會暗自地會心一笑，那天晚上就是如此。”
Some have suggested Balotelli’s problem is one of feeling lonely and homesick. Others point to his upbringing.
Born in Sicily to a Ghanaian couple, Thomas and Rose Barwuah, Balotelli suffered serious ill-health as a toddler, undergoing a series of operations on his intestines before he had reached the age of two.
Italian social workers, worried about the cramped living conditions of the Barwuahs as they struggled to raise a family in the northern city of Brescia, recommended that Mario should be fostered.
From the age of three, he was cared for by the white Italian couple he now calls his parents.
First Francesco and Silvia Balotelli fostered him, then, as the teenage Mario distanced himself from his own family, he became their adopted son.
Balotelli has suffered from the racism that afflicts the more extreme corners of Italian football, notably from notoriously Right-wing elements among the followers of Juventus.
But hoping to unlock the mystery of Mario is a risky business. Even that master of mind games, Mourinho, confessed that he feared Balotelli would ‘age me prematurely and make me visit a psychiatrist’.
Balotelli dislikes being interviewed and professes to hate journalists, even though his sister, Cristina, one of the Balotellis’ three children of their own, works as one in Italy.
‘I don’t like journalists and I hardly ever talk to them,’ says Balotelli as we talk — in Italian — at Manchester’s Rosso restaurant, an establishment partly owned by Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand.
在Manchester的Rosso，一家Manchester United隊長Rio Ferdinand有投資插股的餐廳裡， Balotelli對著我說：“我不喜歡記者，而且我根本不屑和他們交談。”
‘When I have an argument with my sister, I tell her: “I’m not speaking to you today. Today, you are a journalist”. Later, we make up.’ And he adds: ‘Look at you. Six newspapers under your arm. What else could you be but a sports journalist?’
His tone is teasing but, nonetheless, Balotelli does not seem to find it difficult to fall out with people.
Only a few weeks ago he appeared to treat Arsenal star Jack Wilshere with disdain, when Balotelli finished first and Wilshere second in the Golden Boy awards, the Under-21 version of the Ballon D’Or for the best player in Europe.
僅僅是幾週以前，當Baloteill在Golden Boy評選中，(U21版本的歐洲足球先生)，排在Wilshere之前位列第一時，他就表現出對Arsenal新星Jack Wilshere的鄙視。
Asked for a comment on the young Englishman, Balotelli is reported to have said: 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. Perhaps I can show him the Golden Boy trophy and remind him that I won it.’
In the wake of the furore his remarks provoked, Balotelli now appears more conciliatory, shifting the blame on to those who reported his comments.
‘Look, I really do want to get this across, since you are going to write something,’ he says. ‘I was asked about Wilshere and I didn’t know much about him and the media turned it into a big thing. But now I want to say something else. I watched Jack Wilshere when Arsenal beat Chelsea and you know what? He is fortissimo”, a really strong player. He is very good. And Arsenal are serious contenders for the title.'
As, of course, are City, although many would still favour Manchester United given their points, games in hand and massive experience at the business end of the title race. The theory is not received warmly by City’s young star.
當然，在爭奪英超冠軍行列中，還有Manchester City，儘管很多人仍然認為Manchester United才是奪冠最大熱門，考慮到他們在少賽場次的情況下，積分仍然領先，並且對於爭冠白熱化的最後關鍵時刻有著無與倫比的豐富經驗。但是這樣的觀點，顯然的沒有被Manchester City的年輕明星所喜愛。
‘That’s it, bye,’ he says abruptly and suddenly shapes to go. Just when all seems lost suddenly he is sweetness and light again, laughing at his joke.
His penchant for self-parody appears again when he explains his much-publicised brush with the law shortly after he arrived in Manchester in August. He crashed his powerful Audi R8 in a collision with a BMW one morning. The police breathalysed him and he was clear. Balotelli insists that the accident was not his fault but would never happened had he listened to his parents' advice.
‘When I agreed to come to England, my mother said: “Get a car with the steering wheel on the right”,’ he says.
‘My father also said: “Get a car with the steering wheel on the right”. And what did I do? I kept my car with the steering wheel on the left. Now I have taken the advice of my parents and I have a car with the steering wheel on the right. It takes some getting used to, this driving on the left-hand side of the road, but it is getting easier.’
But what of his life in Manchester. Is that getting easier? What of the reports of loneliness and homesickness?
‘Did you ever hear me say that?’ he counters. ‘Sure, it is normal to miss your home and your family but I can see my family and friends here, too. My mother was here just recently, for that match when I scored those goals.’
There have been reports of romantic links with Melissa Castagnoli, a former Miss Italy contestant; and another beauty called Betty Kourakou. But Balotelli refuses to talk about them.
近來有許多報導，指出Balotelli和前義大利小姐的角逐者Melissa Castagnoli，以及另一個美人兒Betty Kourakou有曖昧關係。但是Balotelli拒絕回答我這方面的問題。
‘I am a very, very private person,’ he emphasises. ‘I know some players like being the centre of attention and I admit that when I first became a player I liked fame, too. But that feeling lasted only for three months. Then I realised what it was really like to be the centre of attention all the time. It isn’t all good.
‘Of course, there are many advantages and I don’t want to sound ungrateful because I know I’m lucky. I know I have a responsibility as a role model to children and I try to fulfil that.’
But he still has to resolve that dilemma of wanting to be with other people and yet knowing that all eyes will be on him when he steps out in public. Unsurprisingly, he feels most comfortable among other Italians and he seems to spend almost as much time with friends in Manchester’s Italian restaurants (especially San Carlo on King Street West) as he does in his penthouse flat at a trendy apartment block.
但是Balotelli還是得在兩難之間掙扎，想要出門和朋友同樂、卻得承受一到公眾場合，所有眼光都會投射在他身上的壓力。不令人意外的，在和義大利同鄉們相處的時光，是Balotelli最享受的，他會和朋友們盡情的在Manchester的義大利餐館耗上許多時間，(尤其是在King Street West的San Carlo)，或著是在他的高級頂樓公寓裡同樂。
From there he can walk to his favourite Italian haunts but he prefers to drive the short distance. Sometimes, when he does not feel like eating in public, he parks his car outside and a waiter brings him his favourite pizza, pasta or veal Milanese, or City have his food ferried to his apartment.
從他的住所，Balotelli可以步行到他最常出沒的義大利餐館，但是他偏好開著車子兜兜風。有時候，當Balotelli不想要在公眾場合用餐時，他會把車停在外面，請服務生將他最喜愛的pizza, pasta或是veal Milanese送來給他，有時候是球隊的人員幫他叫外送到他的公寓裡。
Everyone, it appears, is trying to please Balotelli. Mancini, who signed Balotelli when he was managing Inter, has taken him for a private heart-to-heart dinner at San Carlo, while Mancini’s son, Andrea, is said to have befriended the young star.
If it all sounds as though Balotelli has become a spoilt child, others tell a different story.
Foster, one of the maintenance team at Ballotelli’s apartment block, says: ‘Mario treats me really well, he’s a good guy. When I asked him for a signed shirt it was there in no time. He’s very kind.’
Alan, who sells the Big Issue outside San Carlo, agrees. ‘He often stops to give me a fiver for the magazine,’ he says. ‘Mario’s OK.’
Cynics suggest Balotelli’s loyalty to City may not last too long, particularly if the club’s transfer window interest in Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko bears fruit. But Balotelli says he has no intention of cutting short his five-year contract, a deal that earns him a reported £5.8million a year after tax.
偏激論者認為Balotelli對Manchester City的忠誠並不會持續太久，尤其是Manchester City在引進Wolfsburg前鋒Edin Dzeko的談判上進行的頗為順利。但是Balotelli說他沒有打算想要放棄他那份，稅後五年五百八十萬英鎊的合約。
“I don’t know exactly how long I will stay with City but I have the contract and I want to respect it,’ he says. ‘I want to win the league with Manchester City and I think we can do it this season. We have the players.
“我不知道我會在Manchester City待多久，但是既然我有了合約，我就要遵守”，他說：我想要幫助Manchester City贏得英超冠軍，而且我相信我們可以在這個賽季達成目標，我們有一群很好的球員。“
‘I want to repay Roberto Mancini, too. Since I was 17 he has been the most important coach in my career.’
As for Dzeko, Balotelli insists: ‘I couldn’t possibly say what it would mean for me if he comes. But I can tell you this; he is a really, really strong player.’
So if Balotelli is staying at City, is he learning to speak English? ‘I speak English quite well already and it’s getting better,’ he points out, switching effortlessly from his first language. So why did we conduct the whole interview in Italian?
‘You started it,’ he says, with a smile. Perhaps he has been using Mancini’s English teacher? ‘Mancini has an English teacher?’ says Balotelli, feigning astonishment.
It is another playful jibe, delivered with affection by a young man who does not always wish to take life so seriously.