About Mario Balotelli
Expect the unexpected where Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is concerned.
Like Italian teammate Antonio Cassano, there is no doubting the talent, but substantial question marks over his behavior and ability to co-exist in soccer’s delicate ecosystem have threatened to derail the career of SuperMario.
- Name: Mario Barwuah Balotelli
- Nationality: Italian/Ghanaian
- Date and Place of Birth: August 12, 1990 in Palermo, Italy
- Position: Striker
- Current Club: Manchester City (Premier League)
- Previous Clubs: Lumezzane (2005-2006), Inter Milan (2006-2010)
- International Career: 2010 to present
The Early Years:
The player was born to Ghanaian immigrants Thomas and Rose Barwuah in the Italian city of Palermo, but health problems led to his parents contacting the social services and he was adopted by the Balotelli family at the age of three.
Balotelli made his senior debut at 15 for Serie C1 side Lumezzane before being snapped up by Inter on a loan deal with an option to purchase in 2006.
His first-team debut arrived under Roberto Mancini in December 2007 as a substitute against Cagliari, and a few days later he started in a Coppa Italia match with Reggina, scoring his first two goals for the club.
Balotelli often endured racial abuse during his time in Italy, and Juventus fans barracked him in a 1-1 draw in April 2009, a match in which the striker scored.
Problems With Mourinho:
Balotelli’s relationship with Mancini’s successor Jose Mourinho was strained to say the least. “He trains at 25 per cent, if it was 50 per cent he could be one of the world’s best players,” the coach once observed.
The striker, who insists he is not a trouble maker, also acknowledged his day to day struggles with the Portuguese tactician: ”I had a love-hate relationship with Mourinho. When you get two people with a similarly strong personality, they tend to clash.”
Especially when a player appears on an Italian TV show wearing the shirt of city rivals AC Milan, as Balotelli did in March 2010.
In a 2009-10 Champions League semi-final first-leg against Barcelona, Balotelli was introduced as a substitute for tiring striker Diego Milito, but demonstrated such a lack of effort and lackluster body language that many felt his actions signaled the death knell for his career at the San Siro. After being reprimanded by Samuel Eto’o and Esteban Cambiasso, he finished his tantrum by throwing his shirt at some supporters.
Balotelli is a rare talent possessing pace, a deadly eye for goal and excellent control. Although he was not always a model of consistency in an Inter shirt, he produced several sublime moments, and had a goals ratio of roughly one in every three games.
In August 2010, he completed a move to Man City after an on-off saga that had lasted several weeks.
Struggles at City:
He endured a disappointing first season, more remarkable for his bizarre conduct off the pitch than contributions on it. Scorer of just seven goals in all competitions, Balotelli did impress in the FA Cup final against Stoke as the club won its first major trophy since 1970, while he also helped them qualify for the Champions League.
The quality of Balotelli’s performances in the 2011/12 season were a marked improvement as he helped the club to their first title since 1968. His two goals in the memorable 6-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford contributed to an overall haul of 18 for the season.
However, his off-the-pitch misdemeanours continued, while several rash tackles and accusations of a lack of application prompted many questions about his long-term future at the club.
Balotelli rejected the opportunity to play for Ghana on the eve of his 17th birthday because of his determination to represent the country of his birth.
Once he had obtained Italian citizenship, coach Pierluigi Casiraghi called him up for the under-21 side and he turned out regularly for the Azzurrini before finally making his senior debut in a friendly against the Ivory Coast at Upton Park in August 2010.
Euro 2012 was a roaring success for Balotelli as he helped Italy reach the final. He scored three times in the tournament including twice against Germany in the semi-finals, but the striker was left in tears after failing to prevent his side going down to a 4-0 defeat to Spain in the final.
This Mario Balotelli Net Worth profile originated at WealthyGenius.com