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Remembering reggae legend Lucky Dube (Photos)

To mark 10 years since Lucky Dube's death, his former recording company, Gallo Records, will release.

Messi is in my way - Balotelli

By Sports staff | 2012-02-07 07:10:58.0

PRECOCIOUS Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli believes he can win the Footballer of the Year award, but only if Lionel Messi starts to lose form.

The controversial 21-year-old Balotelli told former French international Olivier Dacourt that unless Messi started to play poorly "I cannot do it (win the Golden Ball)". He said the Argentine "played so hard".

Dacourt and Balotelli were teammates at Inter and the retired footballer is now a TV commentator in Italy.

Balotelli is having a great season with City despite some off-field controversies like fleeing his flat after a fireworks accident. He has scored nine goals in 15 games. He opened up to Dacourt on his personal life, saying he was spending more time with his girlfriend now and less time with his male friends, who allegedly set off the fireworks that forced them to abandon the building and summon the fire brigade.

He said he and his girlfriend "spend a lot of time talking about me", even when they went out to dinner. The extravagant player, who once tried to score from the penalty spot with a backheel, admitted that he did "things that are not normal".

He said, however, that he had "improved tactically, whereas before I was a disaster". Now, he says, he will be charged up for Euro 2012 where he will be playing for Italy.