Manchester United striker Robin van Persie insists former Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli is misunderstood.

Balotelli has returned home to Italy with AC Milan in the past week.

"You have people who seem friendly, but are not. Balotelli's case is exactly the opposite. He may not seem nice, but he's just that," said Van Persie.

"I've always been a fan of his. He is strong, fast and he has guts. Actually, he has everything a good striker needs."