Serie A - Mourinho: Best of Balotelli is yet to come

Jose Mourinho says the best is still to come from Mario Balotelli, but although working with the striker was “great fun”, he thinks it unlikely the two will reunite in future as the striker will likely remain with Milan.

Serie A - Mourinho: Best of Balotelli is yet to come

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Jose Mourinho signs for Yahoo

Balotelli played for Mourinho when Inter won the Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble in 2010 before going on to win a Premier League title and FA Cup with Manchester City.

The Italy international is renowned for his off-pitch antics, though on form he is undoubtedly one of the continent’s most devastating attackers.

Mourinho has fond memories of working with Balotelli, but does not expect their paths to cross again professionally as the striker is expected to stay in his native Italy.

The Chelsea manager was speaking in his capacity as Yahoo's new Global Football Ambassador for 2014, which means the only place you can get Mourinho's World Cup analysis is with us this summer.

“It was great fun,” he said of his time with the Italian livewire. “I always thought that was great fun and I have good memories of that.

“Obviously with a kid like him, maybe now he is a bit different but at that time you have your ups and downs and we had our ups and downs but at the end of the day I enjoy; I think he enjoyed too.

“He learned a few things – or not – but he enjoyed too and he won: he was a Champions League winner at 18 years old.

“In football you never know the future but I think at this moment he is with a big club, Milan. I suppose that they want to keep the best players and they want to keep the best Italian players.

“He was already in English football. For sure I am not going to be his manager at Milan or at the Italian national team so I don’t think there is any situation in the future but he’s a good guy, he’s a good kid."

And as for how good Balotelli can be?

“He’s a good player,” said Mourinho. “He is a very young player, he’s very young. He started so young that maybe people now maybe think Balotelli is 27 or 28 but he’s not 27 or 28.

“He was playing in the Champions League when he was 17, 18 and he come to City when he was 19, 20. He’s a kid, he’s still a very young kid.

“I think the best years of a playing career are between 27 and 31 - so he’s not there so hopefully he goes in the right direction.”

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