Personalities in football are a strange thing, as everybody wants to see someone who’s outspoken and interesting, but then immediately start to criticise them when they come along.
Most footballers will come through academies from a young age, so it means their personalities and playing styles will be molded in a certain way, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Mario Balotelli is one of those players who will be spoken about for years after they retire, but not always for the right reasons.
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He’s always in the news for his antics rather than his play, but a return to Italy with Brescia gave him a chance to put that right. There was hope that he would lead them to safety, prove he was mature enough to take on the responsibility of leading a team and a spot at Euro 2020 was even mooted.
It didn’t work out like that – 5 goals in 19 games isn’t anything special, and he faces the prospect of being written off as a wasted talent as he turns 30 this Summer.
A report from Football Italia has looked at some comments from the Brescia chairman Massimo Cellino, and clearly he’s not happy with his star player either:
“I wanted Balotelli, but he proved himself to be too superficial and childish in his off-the-field attitudes. Let it be clear, we are not going into Serie B because of Mario, so it would be wrong and reductive to think that.”
“If a child is impolite, the fault is of the parents, so we must not have dealt with him very well.”
The big problem is wondering where he goes from here. He’s proven too many times that he cannot be relied upon at a big club, but smaller teams will be unlikely to risk spending big money on his wages either.
This could be an interesting Summer for the Italian striker.