Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughMario Balotelli happy to be home - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Mario Balotelli happy to be home - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Mario Balotelli happy to be home

He was regularly in the media whilst at Manchester City and more often than not it was for all the wrong reasons. From setting off fireworks in his bathroom to giving out money whilst dressed as Santa, separating the fact from the fiction was almost impossible and there was too little talk about his ability whilst on the pitch. Mario Balotelli had a difficult time in England but now appears to be much happier now that he has moved back home to Italy.

Roberto Mancini decided on signing the young star that he worked with whilst at Inter Milan despite already knowing the difficulties that he may encounter and potentially unsettling the rest of his squad. The club backed his judgement and spent £20m in August 2010 on purchasing the unpredictable striker. Almost immediately the stories began emerging about a complicated character that could change from playful and relaxed to hostile and aggressive at the drop of a hat. 

During the three seasons he spent in Manchester there were regular bust ups with teammates, including Micah Richards, Vincent Kompany, Aleksandar Kolarov and others. He was also caught on camera coming very close to blows with Roberto Mancini just a few months ago, with coaching staff having to pull the pair apart. Jose Mourinho declared that he was ‘unmanageable’ whilst in charge at Inter and Mancini eventually ran out of excuses for his behaviour and couldn’t justify keeping such a high maintenance individual in his team. Balotelli himself believed that the press and public had unfairly judged him and decided to display the ‘Why always me?’ shirt after scoring against Manchester United in October 2011. This was his response to reports of yet another incident and it is fair to say that the British media took advantage of his reputation to sell papers.

Fortunately for ‘Super Mario’ he was making headlines for all the right reasons last summer. Euro 2012 was a huge surprise to many as the problematic Balotelli performed brilliantly in the semi-final against Germany, scoring twice to take them into the final. Spain easily beat the Italians in the showpiece event but Balotelli had established himself in the national side by this point and now appears to be a regular starter. 

His days at Manchester City seemed numbered though, especially with Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez forming a fairly regular partnership up front. At the start of 2013 he was finally sold to AC Milan, the club that he openly supported since a child, and there was an immediate change in attitude and demeanour. In the first 12 league games he scored 11 goals and is even starting to smile now and again. The scowling face has gone and surrounded by friends and family he seems to be flourishing. Mancini said at the time of his sale that he could become one of the best players in the world but that he needed to return to Serie A. Could his prediction come true and will we be able to look forward to a mature and composed player in the future, the spearhead of both Milan’s and Italy’s attack?

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