Mancini was the manager who gave Balotelli is first big break at Inter Milan in 2007 and the pair reunited a few years later at the Etihad Stadium.
It was clear to see that Mancini and Balotelli shared a love-hate relationship and now Richards has gone on to describe the two as 'husband and wife'.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Richards said: "I think some players are too soft. I played under Stuart Pearce at City, and if you didn't do what he said you'd get called all the names under the sun.
"Now a manager does that and it's 'You can't disrespect me like that'. He's the manager and every player should respect that. He did go overboard occasionally.
"The most extreme examples were with Mario. But they were like a husband and wife. And Mario still provided the assist that won us the league, so there you go."