The Italian Love Affair
The general notion of the media will have one believe that Roberto Mancini has had enough of Mario Balotelli. Whenever Mancini shows an inch of faith towards Balotelli, the Ghanaian born Italian seems to throw it back in his face. Balotelli is an extreme example of football unpredictability. They said that Cristiano Ronaldo during his early days at Manchester United was an unpredictable talent, you never knew what the then Portuguese youngster was going to do, on the pitch. With Mario he takes the word ‘unpredictability’ within the game to greater lengths.
There is no doubt Mario Balotelli is a talent, how big of a talent? No one really knows because he has not shown enough of his talent yet to be judged. Despite being 22 years old, you would not fault an average football fan from suspecting Balotelli being anything over 24 given how long he has been in the limelight. Way back in 2007 Inter Milan bragged of having one of the very best young talents in world football, similar to Barcelona who were bragging of having a young Bojan Krkic, breaking records at will. The name Mario Balotelli began making widespread headlines and became Inter Milan’s youngest ever Champions League scorer, all under the then Inter manager Roberto Mancini.
You see Mancini was the man that started his own love affair with Balotelli, acting like a father to the extremely talented youngster, but it seemed that things went downhill for Mario as soon as a certain Jose Mourinho entered the dugout at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Although reunited at Manchester City, one could assume that the love shown by Mancini has yet to be appreciated and returned by Super Mario. His latest performance against bitter rivals Manchester United, looked to show a setback in their on and off relationship. You could just imagine Roberto talking to all of his players in the changing room encouraging them that all is not lost in the season and seeing a relaxed Mario Balotelli playing with his finger nails.
To be honest no one really knows what has been said behind closed doors between the two Italians. In a media world of assumptions and general consensus’ headlines will be generated at will, but in an ideal world you have to be realistic and say that Mancini is the only man that can tame Balotelli, better yet Balotelli is the only person who can tame Balotelli.
So whilst Balotelli may question and ask ‘Why Always Me?’, maybe Mancini asks himself that question whenever he makes the decision to put his fellow Italian on the pitch.
Reece Ravalier (@ReeceRav)