Saturday, 30 March 2013

Mario's Milan Adventure

Mario “Barwuah” Balotelli. I only have to say his name and I bet you’re imagining the mischief he caused at Manchester City. His camouflage car, the famous ‘bib incident’, and of course the firework he let off in his own house. The list goes on and on and on, (and even more on). However, the controversial striker recently made a $20 million move to the Rossoneri and has somewhat been outstanding for them. Have Manchester City just lost out on a potential world class player? Or have Milan been handed a bad case of Balotelli?

Manchester City bought Balotelli for around $22 million in August 2010. This was mainly down to Mancini, who had been whisked away from Inter to manage Man City and reuniting the two at the Etihad. When Balotelli signed, Mancini had this to say about him,
“His style of play will suit the Premier League, and because he is still so young there is a big chance for him to improve. He is a strong and exciting player, and City fans will enjoy watching him.”
He enjoyed a 3 year stay in Manchester making 54 appearances and scoring 20 goals for the ‘Sky Blues’ – but Balotelli was more known for his actions off the pitch than on it. Nearing the final stages of his Man City career, he got in a tussle with Mancini at City’s training ground but Mancini later insisted that it was just a ‘game’ and there was no tension between the pair. 26 days later, Balotelli was sold to AC Milan. This is what Balotelli had to say about Mancini after: 
“I spoke with Roberto before I went to speak to the players. We spoke for some time about lots of things. He was sad, and I was too. But it was a good conversation. I love Roberto, he has been very important for my career, and I will always thank him for having trust and faith in me”
Heatmap of Balotelli in his last game against Palermo, showing his
increased desire to win games and score goals.
So with that over, we move on to Milan – the club he supported as a boy. When Balotelli signed for Milan, they were sat in 4th place with 40 points, 3 away from third, 9 away from 2nd. Now Milan are in 3rd place and just 2 points off 2nd place Napoli. Balotelli got off to the best possible start with Milan, scoring 2 goals in a crucial match against Udinese. From then on Balotelli has gone on to make 5 more appearances and score 5 goals. Since the move to Milan, Balotelli has thrown away his ‘badboy’ lifestyle and swapped it for football. At Milan, Balotelli seems to have a desire to play, a desire to win which he lacked at Man City. The added desire makes him more determined to do well for his club, he’s not just that lazy boy that stands up the pitch and waits for the ball, he has the hunger to get it either for himself or for his teammates.
ImageIf he carries on like this he will no doubt improve and improve. He will become vital for both AC Milan and Italy. Balotelli has also struck up a goal-scoring partnership with Italian compatriot, Stephan El Shaarawy. When the two are having a good day, they both work in complete harmony with one another. A potential world class strikeforce? We’ll just have to wait and see.
As a keen user of social networking, I asked the world of Twitter to give their opinion on Balotelli. I would just like to personally thank everyone who tweeted their opinion on Balotelli, much appreciated.
At Milan he is allowed to play how he wants.
It was a mixed spell at City for Balo, he showed glimpses of his ability but he was far too inconsistent. He will always be regarded highly by City fans for his crazy antics and for the assist for that Aguero goal against QPR. He never really fully found his feet in the PL and so going back to Serie A was probably the best option.
Balotelli has proven that the human element of a player’s form is one that despite being underrated, is vital. He was always talented, but being at home with his child in a situation he appreciates has allowed him to focus on football.
I think Mancini did want Balotelli to stay, but all his antics off the field meant his career with Man City was over. I feel that if he had a good attitude, he could’ve been a star. The Balo that we see at Milan, shows how good he can be if his mind is on football.
He’s amazed me. I expected to see a player that’s been rejuvenated but he has stunned me. He’s finally uncovered his true talent that we all knew he had. He is a very complete player. Passing, shooting, set pieces, everything He will only get better and will continue to become one of Milan’s and Italy’s prime assets..
He is the new Cantona Calm on the ball, cocky and yet has an always bubbling temper and will to win. Massive fan of his
Moving to Milan was ideal, he has so much more determination and has added discipline to his game.
Stats from Whoscored and Squakwa.
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Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!

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