Mario Balotelli is set to make his first start for Italy in a major international tournament against none other than the World Champions Spain. Media is reporting the versatile Italian to be the key man in this fixture. Technically Balotelli is one of the most gifted players in the world, a match winning player. On the contrary, mentally he is not the most stable one around and has caused his side havoc with his short tempered mind.
The list of Mario Balotelli crime sheets is a long one. From his time in Inter Milan and lately in Manchester City, he has always been in the limelight for right and wrong reasons. There are two sides of Balotelli, one absolutely brilliant e.g ripping Manchester United apart in 6-1 win. Second absolutely insane e.g car crashing drama and fireworks incident.
Gianluigi Buffon on Balotelli
“There’s nothing to discuss about Mario in terms of football, because he’s a pure talent — one of the few players who can make you win matches”
Roberto Mancini on Balotelli
“I need to be sure that I have always 11 players on the pitch,” With Mario, it’s always a big risk. Every time we risk one being sent off, even if he can also score in the last minute.”
Balotelli has been sent off for Manchester City no less than four times, twice last season against Liverpool and Arsenal. Adding to that he was suspended for four games after FA banned him for alleged stamp on Scott Parker’s head. Due to such howlers, Balotelli only featured in 23 league games last season but scored thirteen times and provided crucial assists, most notably the one that won the league title for Manchester City.
It is okay for a 21 year old boy to make mistake sometimes, but mistakes tonight against the reigning champions could cost him and his nation badly. Mario has to forget about all the external aspects to fully unleash himself or else. Dealing with racism is one aspect. He claimed:
“I will not accept racism at all. It’s unacceptable. If someone throws a banana at me in the street, I will go to jail, because I will kill them”
Balotelli has to make his mind set for the game and concentrate on football and only football tonight to ensure zero blunders against Spain. He for one has the talent and the physical strength to unsettle the Spanish defense and if the right Balotelli turns up tonight then he has what it takes to win the match single handedly.