‘New mindset will change everything for Balotelli’

»Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini defended his controversial striker Mario Balotelli on Friday after another week of headline-grabbing antics and said things would fall into place for the youngster if he changed his attitude.

Mancini said the 21-year-old, reported by local media to have played with his iPad while on the bench during Italy's Euro 2012 qualifier against the Faroe Islands last week, often had his behaviour blown out of proportion by the newspapers.

“I am disappointed because everything that Mario does is a big situation,” the coach said. Asked if Balotelli should moderate his behaviour, Mancini replied: “I hope. But Mario is 21 years old, he can change in two months, three months or six months.

“I think that you are right, the moment he changes his mind, he changes everything.” The volatile Balotelli, who last year said he was second only to Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the talent stakes, picked up multiple red and yellow cards last season and a “bad boy” reputation off the field.

He angered Mancini in a pre-season match against the LA Galaxy when he attempted an audacious trick shot -- involving a pirouette and a backheel -- and was promptly substituted.

Monza harks back to heroes and horror
»Ferrari honoured the 50th anniversary of Phil Hill's Formula One title, the first by any American driver, at the Italian Grand Prix but the horror behind it will be left to others to recall.

Hill, who died in 2008, became champion by a single point after the Ferrari driven by team-mate Count Wolfgang Berghe von Trips was flung into the Monza crowd at 150mph after tangling with Jim Clark's Lotus on the approach to Parabolica.

Eleven spectators were killed instantly, along with the driver. A further four, according to contemporary reports, died later in hospital although some official statistics put the overall toll at 13.

The accident remains Formula One's deadliest.  Von Trips, who had qualified on pole position, had needed only a third place to become Germany's first world champion 33 years before Michael Schumacher -- who did his first laps on the kart track set up by Von Trips near his family home -- finally achieved the feat.  “I wanted to win, but not at this price,” Hill said afterwards.

Cruyff slams Mourinho, calls him arrogant
»Jose Mourinho's finger-in-the-eye assault on Barcelona's assistant trainer was “an act of arrogance and impotence” and Real Madrid must rein in their controversial coach, Dutch great Johan Cruyff said.

Mourinho is being investigated by the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) after he jabbed a finger into Tito Vilanova's eye during a mass brawl that flared up during last month's Spanish Super Cup match.

Cruyff, who coached Barca to four straight La Liga titles in the early 1990s, told El Periodico daily Mourinho's behaviour was damaging Real Madrid's image and was born of an obsession with beating Barca at any cost.

“Many people say that he does it to deflect attention so that it will be talked about and not the football,” he added.

“I don't believe it. It is an act of arrogance and impotence.”

Making friends? No, I'm here to win: Cooper
»The role of public enemy number one amongst All Blacks fans sits well with Australia flyhalf Quade Cooper, who said he was in New Zealand to win the rugby World Cup -- not to win new friends.

Cooper has riled New Zealand fans after a number of clashes with All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and the flyhalf could be considered fortunate for escaping a ban after dropping his knee into the flanker's head during the Tri-Nations victory in Brisbane last month.

“It doesn't bother me at all, I don't mind being public enemy number one,” 23-year-old Cooper told reporters.

“I actually enjoy it. We are here to win a competition we are not here to make friends or make enemies, it's all about playing rugby and enjoying it at the same time.”