Balotelli makes a surprise visit at Inter conference

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MANCHESTER City striker Mario Balotelli underlined his reputation for the unpredictable as he turned up at an Inter Milan press conference this afternoon.

The Italian made an unexpected appearance as Inter formally unveiled their new manager, Andrea Stramaccioni.

Balotelli knows Stramaccioni, who has been promoted from youth team coach, from his time at the Serie A giants and paid a visit to congratulate him on his appointment and see old friends.

To much amusement, Balotelli walked into the room as Stramaccioni addressed media and shook his hand and those of other people at the top table before leaving.

Balotelli, 21, and the rest of the City squad have been given a couple of days off by manager Roberto Mancini but are due back at training tomorrow.

Stramaccioni, meanwhile, hailed his appointment as Inter Milan coach as “a dream come true”. The 36-year-old was promoted from youth team coach to guide the senior side as a replacement for sacked Claudio Ranieri, who was shown the door last night with Inter ten points adrift of the third and last Champions League qualifying place and 22 below rivals AC Milan in Serie A.

He is Inter’s fifth coach in the space of 22 months and said: “It is a beautiful dream come true. It has been totally unexpected but a dream that club president (Massimo) Moratti has granted me and I will try to do the best I can.”

The Rome-born Stramaccioni led the Nerazzurri’s youth team to victory in the inaugural NextGen Series in London at the weekend.

“The victory in London with the youth team feels like it happened a long time ago considering yesterday’s developments,” he said. “Only football at this level can give you these emotions.”