Saturday April 20 2013
Balotelli 'extraordinary professional'

“Extraordinary professional” Mario Balotelli has turned down a New York gala as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

The striker had been set to make the trip across the Atlantic after he was named one of the most influential figures in 2013.

However, Milan announced that Balotelli, as “an extraordinary professional,” had opted against the journey because it would interfere with training.

He had been due to sit out a three-match ban, but that was reduced to two on appeal.

It means he still misses tomorrow night’s clash with Juventus, but will be available against Catania on April 28.

The huge gala in New York’s Lincoln Center is on April 23 with 350 specially-invited guests, Vice-President Joe Biden delivering the keynote speech and Christina Aguilera performing.

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