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Tuesday October 29 2019
Balotelli not making an impact

Mario Balotelli is wasting another glorious opportunity to kick-start his career at Brescia, warns Vijay Rahaman ahead of tonight’s Inter clash.

Since his move back to the peninsula, there has been much talk about Mario Balotelli's potential impact on promoted side Brescia and in the bigger picture of making a comeback for the Azzurri, however, as things stand now, there is much to do.

SuperMario arrived in the Lombardy city to much fanfare back in mid-August, so much so that his press conference was delayed by an hour, due to all the fans who lined the streets of the city. So far, the former Inter, Manchester City, Nice and Olympique Marseille striker hasn’t made nearly as much impact on the pitch.

The 29-year old considers Brescia his home, as despite being born in Palermo, he moved in with his adoptive family at the age of just two. His start to life with the promoted side has been steady , but not spectacular, with just a solitary goal to his name in four matches. 

In fairness to the man who has won every major honour in the club game, he has had to bide his time, as he was suspended for the first four matches of the Serie A season, a holdover from his time in Ligue 1. His debut game came against the juggernaut of Juventus, as the defending champions paid a visit to the Stadio Mario Rigamonti. Balotelli started up front with last season's top scorer from Serie B Alfredo Donnarumma and linked with the man from Campania well enough a few times, hitting a rasping free-kick that whistled just over the bar, but despite a valiant effort, they succumbed to a one goal defeat.

His second game with Le Leonessa came away at Napoli in an encounter in which they were thoroughly dominated by the home side, but as a consolation, Balotelli did get his only goal here. With his team losing 0-2, he powered a header past a hapless Davide Ospina in the Napoli goal from a corner. It had been hoped that the son of Ghanaian immigrants would go from strength to strength after registering his name in the Brescia history books, but that has not been the case.

His next two matches saw him came off the bench versus Fiorentina following a knee problem and play from the start away at Genoa, neither of which showed the type of form that won him many admirers in his youth. Examples include a double in just his second game for Inter in a Derby d’Italia Coppa Italia fixture back in 2007, the pass to Sergio Aguero for the winning goal as Manchester City won the Premier League title at the death in 2012, or his fantastic 12 goals in 13 appearances for Milan in 2013.

The fact is, Balotelli is not a ‘youth’ or ‘player with potential’ anymore. He is a fully-grown adult that needs to take this opportunity afforded to him by Brescia. It is vitally important right now, as the club made famous by players such as Georghe Hagi, Roberto Baggio, Pep Guardiola etc... now find themselves in the relegation zone. Being a promoted side is tough under any circumstances and Balotelli was brought in to add his experience, knowledge of winning and leadership qualities to the side that has been out of Serie A for several years. 

They need more from Mario.

Any hopes, and let's be frank, they are slim right now, of him being recalled to the Italian national team with Euro 2020 on the horizon, require a massive effort from Balotelli. The Azzurri have made remarkable progress in the 18 months under Roberto Mancini, with a new style of football based on possession, players who are highly technical and a mostly young team, who are hungry for success. They stormed to Euro 2020 qualification with a perfect record of eight victories from their eight matches, scoring 25 goals (remember it was not so long ago they could not score against Sweden in two games) and have allowed just three at the back. This version of Italy has fans excited, so where can Balotelli fit in at the moment?

We all remember his Euro 2012 performances, most notably a double in the semi-final versus rivals Germany and his game winning goal at the World Cup in Brazil against England, but Italy have moved on since then. The likes of Andrea Belotti, Ciro Immobile (including the criticism), Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Bernardeschi and most recently Stephan El Shaarawy have all contributed up front for the national team. The team has a chemistry and it would take something extraordinary for Mancini to change the set up.

Balotelli’s performances for Brescia so far have been anything but extraordinary. It was easy to forget he was even playing against Genoa until he was substituted and kicked a pitch-side camera. Tonight, he gets the chance to face Inter in a high-profile match, hoping to recapture some of the excitement and promise he had in that Nerazzurri jersey.

Have your say...
Talented...Really? I for one am still waiting to see this talent. Every once and while he scores a nice goal, what striker doesn't? Waste of space and he shouldn't be given any article or blog time. He has had a chip on his shoulder forever!
on the 1st November, 2019 at 2:49pm
I am an avid Brescia supporter, been my team for 20 years now and have seen the ups and the many downs. When he signed I thought'ok he can make the difference against our relegation rivals and hopefully keep us alive against the smaller teams'. Yet as Corini is using him out wide Mario is being isolated. The fact that his attitude only allows him to run when he feels like it..he is non existent out there. Should Corini switch his role to an all out striker our luck may change. Forza Brescia
on the 31st October, 2019 at 3:57pm
This guy is a such a talent, been his biggest fan since his spell at Inter.

So sad to have watched him waste his time the last decade, when he could have made it into the hall of fame. He's that good when he wants to be.

He'd still be in the nazionale, most likely top scorer too.
I wish he'd get his shit together.

The fact that he may not be scoring at Brescia is no indication of his form.
Put Ronaldo up front at Brescia and see how many goals he scores.

E Daje Balotelli- come Alive ma
on the 31st October, 2019 at 8:57am
im just gonna take a wait and see approach to Mario , might as well I have been for years , at the very least he isn't acting we dont need him on the a fool , I wish him all the best but its true he isn't needed on the national level anymore , Mario if your reading this , get down on your knees , ask the GOOD LORD , FOR HELP AND HUMBLE YOURSELF DUDE . IT WORKED FOR ME . VIVA ITALIA FORZZA AZZURRI !!!!
on the 31st October, 2019 at 3:49am
Italy don't need him for the EURO 2020 as they have enough strikers and also they are winning games without HIM. Mancini should not waste his time on him. He is the next CASSANO a wasted talent. No wonder BIG CLUBS are not interested in him anymore.
on the 31st October, 2019 at 12:42am
He finished after euro 2012. Went to liverpool and was a flop. in all honesty his best goalscoring record was at nice against a bunch of farmers. he should be in his prime now. i feel brescia will get more from donnarumma than him
on the 30th October, 2019 at 4:19pm
@sten
Wake up
on the 30th October, 2019 at 3:29pm
'Balotelli not making an impact' ooo there's a surprise. This guys rubbish. Why are you even writing about this waste of space.
This man has held back a generation of Italian strikers, while you were all sitting waiting for this 'talent' to come out almost 10 years has past! why are Brescia even paying him? why is he still classed as a footballer this man is a con artist. He should pay back every single penny he has made and go get a normal job and see just how lucky he is!
on the 30th October, 2019 at 10:43am
You are forgetting he is playing for a team that is in the last 3. If he would play in Juve ofcourse he would score goals..cmon
on the 30th October, 2019 at 8:10am
Why always him?
on the 29th October, 2019 at 7:56pm
When will you understand that this guy's career is over?
on the 29th October, 2019 at 4:59pm
Sad to agree with the other commentators. I was sold on Ballotelli after 2012, and even in 2014 he played fairly well and we were so unlucky to go out (bizarre sending off, that fool's bite and a winning goal off the shoulder). But he's just not buckled down and made the most of his talents - such a shame. Let's face it, the only reason why his name comes up is because we have no goal scoring talisman. If we do manage to find one before 2020 then his name will never come up again.
on the 29th October, 2019 at 1:49pm
Its really hard to imagine Balo coming good on the promise of his talent at this point. Even at the age of 29, he is still kicking cameras and paying people to ride their scooters into lakes rather than focusing on his craft and scoring game winning bangers. Not sure why any team would think its a good idea to bring Balo in for his "leadership," but I'm sure he still sells shirts and obviously his name still gets clicks in headlines.
on the 29th October, 2019 at 12:19pm
Just like Cassano

Just. Leave. This. Guy. Away. From. La. Nazionale.

Italy have wayyy too much talent to even consider this idiot anymore.

Speaking of idiots, yet another rubbish/unnecessary article.

Football-Italia = 1 quality blog out of every 20 published.
on the 29th October, 2019 at 11:39am
Utter waste of space. I held out hope in Balotelli for far too long. What a fool I was.

I don't think he has ever had one excellent full season in his entire career. Certainly not since 2012. Clearly that trend is set to continue.

He can moan and point his finger all he likes but the time will come when he will only have the mirror left to blame, just like Cassano.
on the 29th October, 2019 at 11:05am

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