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How Will Mario Balotelli Go Down In History?

Updated on November 29, 2013

The One And Only Mario

Mario Balotelli is known for many things. His brawls with Mancini and Kompany, his "Why Always Me?" shirt and his Hulk celebration are headline news, but he also has a strong scoring touch. So how will Mario go down in history? As one of the biggest wastes of talent? As soccer's greatest joker? Or as a somewhat immature, but extremely skilled striker? Let's find out as we explore the past and future of Mario Balotelli.

The Good

While often overlooked, Balotelli has had a very strong and decorated career for just a 22 year old. He's won the Champions League (Inter), the Serie A (3 times/Inter), the Coppa Italia (Inter), the EPL (Man City) and the FA Cup (Man City). He's also finished runner-up in EURO 2012 with Italy. Mario's 2011-2012 season was arguably his best, scoring 4 times in 9 appearances for Italy, while netting 13 goals in the EPL and 2 in the UCL for City. He had a low-key season discipline wise (by Mario terms), bringing down his total amount of yellow cards from 10 to 8. He also became the first Black player to score a goal for the Italian National Team.

The Bad

Where to begin? Mario has had one season (He's played 5 seasons) in which he's received less than 7 yellow cards, and that was the 2006/2007 season in which he played in just 12 games. In the 2010-2011 season, he arguable got City knocked out of the Europa League after his karate kick, and thought that it would be a good idea to step on Scott Parker's hand during an EPL game. He's had more than three assists in a season once in his career, however he only scored nine goals that season.

The Just Plain Crazy

Mario Balotelli is the most eventful player in all of soccer to say the least. From throwing darts at City youth players to pass time, to having a sword fight at an Indian restaurant, the list goes on and on. He's racked up 300K pounds in fines (in one season), tripped teammate Eden Dzeko for fun, been linked to several mafia groups and brought an Ipad to the bench for an Italy game. Did I mention he lit his bathroom on fire?

So How Will He Be Seen In The Future?

It's hard to tell as Mario is just 22, but he must, must learn to control his emotions and not to retaliate when fouled in order create a respectable reputation. As of right now Balotelli will go down in history as a joker, and a waste of talent, but he has a fresh start with AC Milan, and must take full advantage of it. When the chance comes to avoid confrontation along with the chance to net one, he must take it. This could be his last chance.

Source

UPDATE - Mario In Milan

Note: This is an update to the prior hub

Mario has had a wild time in Milan, but it seems like for the first time in his career he is being taken seriously as a world-class player. While he does make the news every once in a while for silly things, he now primarily makes it for his goalscoring. Avoiding yellow cards has been a struggle for Balotelli since he arrived in Milan, picking up 10 yellow cards in 20 games. He has scored a strong amount of goals, netting 15 while assisting two. According to the website transfermarkt.com (It's a great, reliable site that I highly recommend), Balotelli's market value has risen by over 6 million euros since signing for Milan. All of the signs point to Balotelli continuing on a high path during his time at Milan, and therefore going down in history as a prolific goalscorer with a troubled start, but only time will tell if the signs are correct.

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      Richard-Murray 4 years ago

      NLazar

      I think Milan's embrace of him has been more vital. The owner said he would never play for him then they sign him and he is not meant to be on the bench like at Inter or ManC but starting without question. The situation is one he has never been in and that can have huge effects on a player. Who needs to see what it is like? I go back to Sturridge. Sturridge was playing from benches until Chelsea finally loaned him to Bolton where he started and grew. Very few young players with talent have the kind of skills that allow benchwarming to have a positive effect.

      CCahill

      I disagree, having watched him at inter and manc, I think the situation is so new for him. Mourinho said he was uncoachable but Mourinho never really played him. And, I think Inter like ManC should have loaned him out really, but he is so talented, they thought they could treat him as a bench player and save them from this or that.

    • CCahill profile image

      CCahill 4 years ago from England

      Wouldnt be surprised if he gets sent off

    • nlazar profile image
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      N. Lazar 4 years ago from USA

      It will be interesting if the Milan players embrace him or discard him based on previous actions. The next couple games for him will be huge, especially Milan derby coming up. He MUST handle himself properly before/during/after that.

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      Richard-Murray 4 years ago

      CCahill

      I disagree simply because With Milan now he is getting his first true opportunity to lead a team, he wasnt the main man at Inter or ManCity

    • CCahill profile image

      CCahill 4 years ago from England

      Ah interesting that you point out he was the first Black player for Italy, In England i think it was Viv Anderson? and that is what HE will mostly be remembered for, so maybe thats what Baloteli will ultimately be

      I always can't help but see him as becoming another Bellamy, Cisse etc the types of players who could have been something but were too volatile to fully fulfil their potential

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      Richard-Murray 4 years ago

      I comprehend your angle, but when you look at Serie A soccer and Italy in general, it has its fill of bad boys, Cassano and Ibra are both Serie A bred and both spent many early years with great skill and bad tempers. At just 22 Balotelli is in that same place, but the difference is, he has been part of such success early on. I think in many ways, he needed to go to Milan, not just to get back to Italy, not just to be in an Italian gem but also to get a standard place. You mentioned his trophies and forget during his entire time at Inter and MAn City he was fighting with forwards who were unmoveable. Aguero, Tevez, are constants at City and DZeko is there whenever Mario slips up, and at Inter, EL PRINCIPE Diego Milito was there with the living legend Samuel Eto'o so he hasn't been on a side that relied on him in that mandatory starting role since he came from youth soccer to Inter. At Milan, with Emmanuelson gone, El Shaarawy will look to encircle him and Boateng will look to orchestrate the midfield, leaving him the main man for the first time in his top career without doubt. Second, and you know I am a fan of Serie A, Allegri is an imaginative coach and the openness of tactics in Italy will suit Balotelli. In the Euro's if you notice, Balotelli was very comfortable, for all his club based antics and to this I go back to the lack of tactical openness in England and Spain. When Ibra was at Barca, many people said it didnt work out but the reason it didnt work out was simple, Barca like many teams in Spain are pretty one dimensional. They are fluid going forward but players dont interchange like in Italy, and are defensively poor. To Balotelli, i noticed throughout his time he always seemed frustrated at his teammates not compreheding what he wanted. I am not talking about who took free kicks, but he always seemed frstrated at teammates positions, when he had the ball in midfield and just didnt click with them tactically at times. At Milan, Prince Boateng, and El Shaaraway, are open to imagination and Allegri will let them fly. I think he has made a great move to a big team that is going through a transition in how it operates, with more development and youth. It could be great and if cassano and ibra are examples Milan will cool him off