When asked to name a footballer who is the modern day Maradona off the pitch, with no fear of who he insults or what he tweets next, the footballer on everyones mind is surely Mario Balotelli. The young Italian has hit the front page of almost every newspaper and sports magazine for his foolish behaviour and crazy actions. If it isn’t something he’s said its something his done, from flash cars to building a portaloo on the roof this man is doing it all. Upon his arrival at Manchester City FC he has been deemed the bad boy of the premier league even leaving the likes of Joey Barton in his dust. Former Italian prime minster Berlusconi who is also the owner of Series A team AC Milan has recently deemed Balotelli as a ‘rotten apple’ suggesting that he will poison any team he plays with. It was in recent rumours of a possible move from Manchester City back to Series A that Berlusconi said he wouldn’t be making any offers if the 22 year old was to move. It would appear though even despite Mario’s mad antics his current manager Mancini is still keeping him in good favour, in a recent press conference Mancini made it clear that even after their bust up on January 3rd that he would give Balotelli ’100 chances’ suggesting that the striker really is indispensable despite being a complete nightmare to manage, many fans believing that Mancini is simply a push over.
Mario’s bust up with Man city manager Roberto Mancini is the latest in a long line of spats at the club, Mancini definitely has a hard job in keeping the Italian in check. The ‘fight’ broke out at a Man city training session, pictures have emerged showing the two men at each other throats and eventually having to be separated with Mancini looking furious. This 22 year old proves a lot to handle, as others have tried in the past including Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho. QPR manager Harry Redknapp recently commented “If Mourinho has a problem with him and can’t handle him, he’s got to be difficult hasn’t he? The boy’s a good player but obviously there is a problem there somewhere with his attitude.” Fans all over the UK watch with baited breath for the next Balotelli-Mancini moment, some feeling he has already gone to far. Teammate and friend Carlos Tevez has been rumoured to become a mentor for the Italian in an aim to help both him and the the team. With the world as his oyster Mario has stayed in the limelight throughout 2012 with an impressive two goals in the euro semi final against Italy sending the side through to the final and a string of odd but entertaining outbursts and actions which we are sure to see plenty more of this year.
By Lisa McCullough