Mario Balotelli’s $30 million transfer from Manchester City to AC Milan was celebrated so intensely by the club’s supporters that they ended up clashing with Italian police.
Officers were forced to use tear gas after fans let off flares and threw glass bottles outside of a restaurant in Milan where the striker was eating. One policeman was even taken to hospital with head injuries.
When discussing his move from the current English league champions to the seven-time European cup winners, Balotelli, stated, “I’d wanted to play for Milan for such a long time. Obviously I played for other teams and couldn’t come. But when there was the chance, I ran.”
Balotelli was flown to Milan on a private jet alongside the Italian club’s vice-president, Adriano Galliani, who said, “With his arrival, we have reinforced our team a lot. He’s a dream come true, wanted by the [AC Milan president Silvio] Berlusconi and the club. Mario has been in our hearts for many years and finally we’ve managed to get him.”
Balotelli was forced to leave Manchester City after he had a physical altercation with the club’s manager, Roberto Mancini on January 3. This incident was caught on camera by members of the English press, who plastered it across the papers.
The 22-year-old has also been involved in a number of controversies during his time at City, which included attending a strip club that saw him receive a $400,000 fine. He also set fire to his home just 24 hours before a match with Manchester United after he exploded several fireworks in his bathroom.