How Will Mario Balotelli Go Down In History?
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.
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.
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.
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.