Newcastle United defender Davide Santon has branded Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli "crazy".

The two Italian internationals grew up together, went to the same school and played in the same Inter team.

Santon told the Sunday Mirror: "Balotelli was with me, not just in football at Inter Milan, but in school. I am a year younger than him, but we were good friends.

"He's a funny boy, if a little bit crazy. I keep in touch with him.

"We speak sometimes and send each other texts. Mario is a ­tremendous ­footballer. He's not a bad guy, just crazy!"