Saturday November 30 2019
Balotelli back to square one

Mario Balotelli’s time at Brescia has already hit controversy, as Martin Mork outlines the striker’s latest troubled tenure.

When Brescia President Massimo Cellino announced that he was bringing Mario Balotelli back to Lombardy this summer, there were mixed feelings of expectations and fear. The return of the lost son has only confirmed the reason why he left in the first place.

It of course pleased his mother to see her son return to his roots. She publicly welcomed the player back to Brescia with open arms, and it seemed like the fans and the team did the same. In expectance of a new leader for their newly promoted ranks, they were all admiring the possibilities of using the 29-year-old’s vast experience from top teams in England and France. But experience doesn’t always go hand in hand with maturity.

The football player Balotelli is as inconsistent as the person, but when he’s on form, he’s arguably one of the greatest talents out there. His behaviour off the pitch, on the other hand, attracted him unwanted attention at an early age. Combining the exciting prospect on the football pitch with the escapades he has pulled off the pitch throughout the years, the stories are too many to be listed. The tales of success are braided with the off-pitch antics and the former Inter man has gone from hero to villain in seconds wherever he goes.

After ending a fairly successful spell in Ligue 1, also then somewhat troubled by his relationship to coaches and fans, the player returned to Italy to find a country that hadn’t changed since he left. He had previously stated that he wouldn’t return, and the motivation became clearer with each week he had been back.

Balotelli is a person that needs to be protected by his club and the latest events at Brescia are showing no signs of awareness. The constant pressure from the journalists isn’t really helping the boy either. Already before his first appearance at the club, a video of Balotelli smoking a cigarette circulated in the media and you could sense the kind of exposure he would be dealing with. But he didn’t do too badly on the pitch, it actually looked promising. He just needed to find his feet again – give him some time to shine. Cigarette or no cigarette.

He didn’t get time to put out the cigarette before burning his fingers on a glowing filter tip. Because in November, Balotelli understandably reacted very strongly to racist chants from some sections of the Hellas Verona crowd. The player kicked the ball towards the source of the monkey noises in the stands, refused to continue and tried to leave the pitch. In the end he was convinced by his teammates and the opposition to stay on and even scored. However, in the aftermath, Balotelli had to fight his corner, mostly on his own.

And it’s been boiling ever since. The attention continues to follow him, and his own immaturity is of course not helping. But the fact that he doesn’t feel welcome in his own country is particularly sad for a man who has brought the nation some good memories also through the Azzurri.

Journalists have been surrounding Balotelli again, waiting for it to boil over. And eventually it did. The Brescia fans didn’t even take his side, claiming they were embarrassed with his reaction and mental state during the game against Hellas Verona. A clash with the new coach Fabio Grosso on the training ground led to the player leaving the facilities during a session and President Cellino didn’t do a great deal to calm the situation. He rather threw fresh cogs into the fireplace with some thought-provoking language to describe the player’s state of mind.

The culture in Italy doesn’t help and the saddest part is that the solution might be for Balotelli to flee. Change environment completely. A reported move to Turkey might not help. It’s too close to home. The interest from MLS might actually be able to save his career. He’s only 29 years old. A young man in most other professions.

His abilities are proven to be more than qualified to participate in any top league in Europe. It’s the mentality that stops him from greatness. It’s become a well-known risk to hire Balotelli as your main man and it’s not the first time he’s been told to thicken up. He needs to be protected; he needs an environment that supports him no matter what.

A potential transfer to America might even get him out of the media for a while. Other stars have found their quiet places in the US, left to their own and maybe not as highly regarded as footballers are in Europe. But it’s all very sad to see a player flee because of what’s rooted as a cultural behavioural problem.

It’s understandable that the treatment makes him feel foreign in his own country, but if the solution is that such a talent should be left to his own on a different continent, maybe it’s not just Balotelli who needs to look himself in the mirror.

Have your say...
So he complained and then ended up relying on Balotelli anyway? sounds pretty hypocritical if you ask me. What happenned to Balo's supposed poor work ethic? did it suddenly disappear now that his job's on the line?

I mentioned in earlier comment that everyone at Brescia was looking for a scapegoat for their predicament, who's better target than the supposed problem child Balotelli? even Cellino the president made snide remarks about him that had nothing to do with on-pitch performance.
on the 2nd December, 2019 at 3:02pm
@anon You’ve really got the blinkers on.

He had a verbal bust up with Grosso and got kicked out of training. And Grosso has specifically complained about his work ethic and contribution on the field.

But yeah it must be all Grosso’s fault because he’s a new coach about to get fired. Let’s just ignore the long history of Balotelli’s poor work ethic and consistent bust ups and/or problems with previous coaches.

Wow he almost scored a goal - so what? He should have buried that clear chance.
on the 2nd December, 2019 at 2:48pm
Crying and condemning about his wasted talent is pointless at this point. He may have been unprofessional before but this article is about his time at Brescia. Can you honestly answer what horrible things he had done this season before the whole racism saga? yeah we get it, he was a bad professional in the past but that has no correlation to what's happening today. No one has the right to continue undermining him for past mistakes when he has done nothing AT THE PRESENT to warrant that.
on the 2nd December, 2019 at 11:02am
@Serie A Fan the same Grosso who's about to be sacked? the same Grosso who was so desperate that he played Balotelli against Atalanta probably expecting a miracle and would've if he wasn't so unlucky to hit the post? Grosso didn't drop Balotelli because he underperformed, if you watch Brescia you'll know that he is pretty much the only threat they have these days.

Mancini didn't pick him because Belotti and Immobile are better. That doesn't necessarily mean Balotelli has been bad.
on the 2nd December, 2019 at 10:56am
On the subject of vile fans, I am disappointed that the physical violence, not words or chants, inflicted on Roma's Pellegrini, in Turkey has virtually been swept under the carpet. It's only right that racist incidents get the exposure they deserve to highlight the ongoing problems, but for the media to be relatively quiet when it comes to actual physical assault is appalling. Where is the outrage? Where is the consistency?
on the 2nd December, 2019 at 10:25am
Balotelli has talent no doubt about it, but he has cheated his fans throughout his career. In how many other jobs are you allowed to get away with being so unprofessional, so lazy? And while the racist chants are beyond stupid, you cannot help but get the impression that Mario in turn uses the behaviour of those idiots to deflect from his awful performances. He still acts like a child, one that will never self reflect and own his mistakes.
on the 2nd December, 2019 at 10:09am
@Ita Then you're just rehashing tired arguments. The guy's 29, it's pointless to expect or mock him for failing to live up to his talent. That being said, he did well in France and has carried more or less the same level of performance in Brescia. You said no one's blaming him for Brescia's form but at the same time you call him rubbish when in fact he has been one of their best players alongside Tonali and Joronen. Clearly you've never seen him (or Brescia) play this season.
on the 2nd December, 2019 at 9:40am
@Anon You're missing the point, he receives more criticism than most because he is catastrophically underachieving. Do you see the difference? He has an extremely rare gift. Incredible technical ability combined with an ideal physique. And yet his career has been and continues to be utterly abysmal.

People are sick of his terrible mind. He absolutely warrants criticism since coming back to Italy. He's been so poor. Grosso has been dropping him because of it and Mancini has rightly avoided him.
on the 2nd December, 2019 at 9:25am
What we want from him is to be this amazing talent we have never seen. Brrscia the latest to see how rubbish the entire Balotelli show is. The bottom line is One goal against Germany doesn't and can't hide all the failure.
As for the article there is nothing that is blaming him for Brescia being bottom.
Whilst in that speech he can then tell us about his terrible display on and off the pitch in the final that he apparently single handley got us too
on the 2nd December, 2019 at 6:53am
I just find it funny people are complaining about Balo's squandered talent and bad attitude when this article is anything but that. It couldn't be any clearer that you guys have an unhealthy bias against him and ironically are the ones who kept bringing up the things you were complaining about.

No he's not gonna be Baggio but if you merely want to criticize his performance then clearly you haven't watched any of his matches. There are A LOT of out-of-form players who deserve that before Balo
on the 2nd December, 2019 at 1:30am
@Serie A Fan and that's fine in the past. His attitude though has nothing to do with the current predicament. He was abused racially not because of his misdemeanor. I've already given an example that this is a much wider issue since Balotelli isn't the only one suffering this treatment. Ever since he came to Brescia he has done nothing to warrant that treatment and even did well on the pitch. Smoking isn't a big deal, Nainggolan is a heavy smoker and didn't get as much slack.
on the 2nd December, 2019 at 1:24am
@anon Balotelli gets so much hate because he has so much natural talent but he has a terrible attitude and work ethic and totally underachieved and frustrated everyone in Italy, England and France. It's as simple as that. Most of us are sick of him. And trust me i stuck by him for a long time but what a fool I was. His values are totally against the Italian way which is all about hard work and sacrifice
on the 1st December, 2019 at 10:08pm
I don't know what you expect from him. Not even Ronaldo is going to save that Brescia team from relegation yet everyone's acting like Balotelli's the worst player in Serie A just because he didn't fulfill his potential.

It's a fact, however, that he was abused by racists and didn't get any support. Hardly the only one too since even Lukaku got that kind of treatment. That you chose to focus on old tired cliche of his instead of the actual problem is evidence why racism won't ever go away
on the 1st December, 2019 at 7:08pm
It says a lot about you lot as people when you jumped straight to the comment section talking about Balotelli's squandered talent. Yes, we get it. He's not gonna be the next Roberto Baggio. Doesn't mean he's not a good player. In fact, for all the mud people throw at him he has actually done well for a team like Brescia as literally their sole attacking threat.

But of course you'd rather not acknowledged that because "hurr durr Balotelli bad" right?
on the 1st December, 2019 at 7:03pm
@ITA I don't know which article you read but this one made no mention about Balotelli's supposed flounderintalent. Point me to which paragraph that mention it if you can. In fact the author clearly acknowledge that Balotelli has the ability to play in a top league.

If you actually read it, this article focused on the unfair treatment that Balo got ever since he came back. Being scrutinized for simply smoking and then not getting his own club's or the fans' support when he was targeted by racism
on the 1st December, 2019 at 6:56pm
There will be one day which Balo like every has-been or preferably the-could-have-been, would sit down in a interview in his retired age telling his tales in the Euro of how he could have single handedly won it by himself but due to pressure and expectations which too much blablabla.. And then start telling young players how to behave.. Drop mic..
on the 1st December, 2019 at 4:28pm
There you have it ladies and gents. Our anonymous friend the first person scream racism. No one is blaming Balotelli for Brescia being rubbish, and no one is pointing at the black man as you put it. The article is stating the roundabout Balotelli has been on since he became a footballer- we wait for the marvel to demonstrate his unique talent which we havn't seen once since so people are correct to question and criticize the player who has failed and been sacked from every club! 
on the 1st December, 2019 at 12:36pm
No no. You are the problem.
on the 1st December, 2019 at 12:30pm
I think it maybe time to ban articles about the not so super Mario. We need to lut an end to the excuses and just admit he is rubbish. I give this article another day or so and there will be some clown calling us all racist. Lets put a stop to this madness, ban Balotelli from football stop paying him and all media keep away. He will only ever be remembered as a useless failure worst part is he has made millions out of it and will never actually have to do a days work which is a great shame.
on the 1st December, 2019 at 8:41am
Well said and spot on @pinturicchio @yaniv Solomon This post is exactly the same as the posts put up when he is sent packing from yet another club. It is truly unbelievable that media even entertain this talentless fraudster. He has done absolutely nothing yet all we hear about is the 'lost son', 'he needs to escape' this man needs to go away altogether and leave us all in peace. Every club is a another chance and every ub sends him packing.
on the 1st December, 2019 at 8:30am
people like Pinturicchio and yaniv solomon are examples of what is wrong with this world and why the human race is doomed..
on the 1st December, 2019 at 7:26am
Balotelli has received nothing but abuse ever since his return. This despite the decent performances he put for a struggling bottom feeder like Brescia. Everyone there are desperate to put the blame on Balotelli even though he's hardly the root of their problem. Not even Messi can save this Brescia team.

But of course it's easier to point finger on the black man with a sketchy past even though all he did was smoke like many other professionals. How dare he be offended by racist remarks right?
on the 1st December, 2019 at 5:27am
he is the luckiest men on earth. everybody talk about him and he get millions of euros and yet he got no modern football skills at all. i dont think anybody need to protect him.
on the 30th November, 2019 at 11:15pm
Why should he have to take the racist abuse by the ignorant idiots in the crowd. It is so easy to say he is a bad boy with a bad attitude but he has had to put up with this all his playing days. It is going to get under your skin eventually. If he is supported rather than belittled maybe his attitude will change. I don’t believe that unless you are on the receiving end of open racism like he is you can know what it feels like.
on the 30th November, 2019 at 9:25pm
on the 30th November, 2019 at 7:27pm

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Your data may be made public and you accept our Privacy Policy. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.