Mario Balotelli has officially signed "a multi-year contract" for his hometown club Brescia as a free agent following their promotion to Serie A.
“Mario Balotelli Barwuah is officially a new player of Brescia Calcio S.p.A. The Footballer has signed a multi-year contract with the Rondinelle,” read a statement.
“The return to Italy, after three years, was made possible by Mario’s determination and enthusiasm to return to Brescia, the city where he grew up and where since he was a child he stood out for his physical and technical skills.
“Tomorrow, August 19th, the footballer will be officially presented at the Brescia Calcio headquarters, Via Solferino 32, at 4.45pm.”
It had been reported to be a basic salary of €1.5m for one year with numerous extra bonuses and add-ons for goals scored, appearances, Italy caps and an automatic renewal in case Brescia avoid relegation.
Balo was born in Palermo, but moved to Brescia aged two and his adoptive family still lives there.
"Finally, I am coming home to MY CITY," wrote the player on Instagram. "Brescia, I'm here. #homecoming"
The 29-year-old striker returns to Italy for the first time since 2016, when he ended his Milan loan from Liverpool, going on to feature for Nice and Olympique Marseille.
He was a free agent after the Marseille contract expired and had an offer from Brazilian club Flamengo, but opted for Brescia upon their promotion to Serie A.
It is reported he had agreed the deal on Friday, but Brescia would not announce it on Saturday August 17 because of President Massimo Cellino’s superstition.
The Number 17 is considered unlucky in Italy and former Cagliari and Leeds United President Cellino would not have any 17 jerseys in his squad, nor even a number 17 seat in his stadium, naming that chair 16a.
Balo has never actually played for Brescia, as he began his career at the Lumezzane youth academy, moving on to Inter in 2006, aged just 16.
His other clubs have been Manchester City, Milan, Liverpool, Nice and Olympique Marseille, although he never disguised the fact he was a Milan supporter.
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