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Cheeky Balotelli backed by Beckham


AFTER BEING heavily criticised for his audacious back-heel attempt on goal against LA Galaxy, Mario Balotelli has found support from David Beckham.

Blues boss Roberto Mancini immediately substituted Balotelli, who was one-on-one with the goalkeeper, in the pre-season friendly against the MLS side as fans voiced their displeasure of the Italian internationals’ effort on goal.

Balotelli, who was born to Ghanaian parents but adopted by an Italian family from Brescia, remonstrated that he thought he heard an offside whistle and then proceeded to storm off.

However, former England captain and current Galaxy midfielder Beckham defended the 20-year-old’s actions.

"I've watched it back and, from his mannerisms, I believe he thought he was offside," said Beckham.

"He'll continue to get better I am sure.
"But it doesn't matter whether you think it was offside or not. There are a lot of young kids watching these teams and great players who come out here. You have to be professional and score the goal."

Mancini added: "In football you always need to be professional, always serious and in this moment he wasn't professional. Mario needs to understand his behaviour has to be good in every game - not just in a final or a semi-final but every game.

SUPPORT: Balotelli has a fan in Beckham

“He knows he made a mistake. Football should always be serious and if you have a chance to score, you should score.

"Mario is young, I want to help him. That's the end of it. To take him off after 30 minutes of the [friendly] game is enough punishment. It will not have been easy for him - but it has to be a lesson."

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