Liverpool misfit Mario Balotelli is on the move once again. Earlier today, Balotelli passed a medical in Milan, Italy, and is on his way back to A.C. Milan just a year after joining Liverpool in a $25 million deal. Balotelli scored just one goal and played only 16 times during a year that saw him fail to establish himself as a first team regular at Liverpool. It seems that former club A.C. Milan are willing to offer the talented, but temperamental, Balotelli yet another last chance.
Balotelli was dubbed “Super Mario” by fans, after the Nintendo computer game character, as much for his antics off the field as for his performances on it. Balotelli is a proven goalscorer who has scored 107 goals in 280 appearances for club and country, but sadly, he is more famous for his on-field discipline issues and off-field antics. Current Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho once described Balotelli as “unmanageable.”
In December, 2014, the BBC reported that Balotelli had been forced to issue a public apology after he made a post on Instagram, which appeared to have anti-Semitic and racist overtones. Balotelli used a cartoon picture of “Super Mario” with the heading “Don’t be a Racist.”
“Be like Mario, he’s an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican. He jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew.”
Controversy has followed Balotelli throughout his career. In 2010, Mario enraged fans of his team, Internazionale, of Milan, by appearing on Italian television wearing the shirt of their great rivals, A.C. Milan. This ultimately led to Balotelli being sold to Manchester City for around $30 million. Whilst in Manchester, Balotelli was often in trouble, his disciplinary record was terrible, and he allegedly had a difficult relationship with coach Roberto Mancini. Rumors were rife that all was not well between the pair, and eventually, Mancini lost patience and sold Balotelli to A.C Milan for some $25 million.
Sky Sports reports that Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has branded Balotelli a fraud and said that Liverpool should get rid of him as quickly as possible.
“The Balotelli [signing] was a major mistake from the whole club, not just Brendan Rodgers but the transfer committee in bringing him in. I still can’t believe that they signed him. He hasn’t worked out and he has to move on.
He is kidding some coaches if he gets a move to A.C. Milan.”
It seems that Carragher has got his wish, as the Daily Mail reports that Balotelli has rejoined A.C. Milan on a season-long loan. It really does seem that this is truly the last chance saloon for Mario Balotelli.
[Photo by Richard Heathcote / Getty Images]