Serie A - Balotelli: Love helped me settle down

Mario Balotelli has opened up about being "in love" with new girlfriend Fanny, and why he is finally settling down in Milan.

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Mario Balotelli (Reuters)

The striker moved from Manchester City in January and seemed to leave most of his headlines in the gossip magazines back there.

He sat down with the Italian edition of Vanity Fair to discuss the bitter break-up with Raffaella Fico and their daughter Pia, who was born on December 5.

“Am I in love? Yes, but I am not good at talking about it. I am shy,” said Balotelli about new girlfriend Fanny Neguesha.

“She is determined, confident and generous. In a short space of time she found herself in sync with me. I could spend my whole life with someone like this.

“Thanks to Fanny I have rediscovered the balance that I need in my work. She puts our relationship first and foremost, so there are no distractions or rows before games.

“It’s not easy to be with me, because I almost have to give up on a private life, as I am constantly exposed to the public. I have no Facebook or Twitter accounts, because anything I say risks being turned around into something negative.”

It emerges Super Mario met Belgian model Fanny six months ago through a mutual friend who played match-maker.

“We met in Brussels, as a friend of mine said: ‘This is the right girl for you.’ I tried approaching her from distance with telephone calls and messages from Manchester, but it didn’t work. So I got on a private jet and flew out to see her.

“We went to smoke narghilé (hookah, ndr) and finished the day in my hotel lobby, just chatting. She arrived with a friend and so did I. It was easier with four people to break the ice.”

The new, smiling and settled Balotelli is still hitting the headlines, as his ex-girlfriend Raffaella Fico is on the front page of another magazine this week showing off their daughter and complaining he has never met her.

“I will not talk about someone who doesn’t interest me anymore. I am no longer part of her world, which is the entertainment business. When I have something to say to her, I do it in private.

“Of course I think about the baby. With the story I had growing up, do you think I’d leave her without a father? If it has happened so far, it is not my fault. I am not a nasty person. In fact, at times I am too naively good-natured.

“I would like to meet her and really hope she is my daughter. I have no intention of running away, in fact I’d be truly happy if she was my flesh and blood. However, I ask respect for a situation that is not as simple as it looks.

“There are complex legal issues that have to be faced carefully, for the good of everyone, and not through interviews."

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