Mario Balotelli: 'I have nothing against Rio Ferdinand'

Balotelli: 'I have nothing against Rio'
© PA Photos
Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli says that he has nothing against Rio Ferdinand ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has played down any rift between himself and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby.

The pair collided after last season's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley when Ferdinand took exception to the Italian's celebrations after City's 1-0 win.

"I don't have anything against him," he said. "He is a great player. I didn't ever speak to him [at Wembley]. I was just celebrating, but not against them [United supporters]. I showed him the shirt of City and obviously he got angry with me.

"For me, what happened on the pitch stayed on the pitch and now we are friends like before. Or we respect each other anyway. I'm going to give him the handshake before the game like I give to everyone."

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Ferdinand will fly to Wembley after the match at Old Trafford to perform the coin toss in the NFL match between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Chicago Bears.

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