What do you do about a problem like Mario Balotelli?


The infamous and headline-grabbing Italian Mario Balotelli has once again been courting controversy at Manchester City – only this time for having a visible spat with the man in charge, Roberto Mancini. Pictures have surfaced online of the two fellow countrymen seemingly sparring due to the manager’s discontent at a challenge the 22-year old striker put in on the training pitch.

The disagreement has quickly been swept under the carpet at the club, with Mancini claiming it was a storm in a teacup and that Balotelli will be given ‘100 more chances’ at Manchester City. What it does conclusively prove though is that the enigmatic striker is quite a feisty customer and one that even the cool and calm Mancini struggles to handle. Maybe he enjoys the challenge – who knows?

There is a strange type of chemistry between both manager and player and in this case it’s one which has proven to be quite volatile, full of incident and issue. The latest story from camp Man City is probably no surprise to all in sky blue but to the average outsider it’s something you simply can’t begin to imagine seeing at your own club. Others may say ‘It’s a standard altercation between two men – happens all the time in training’ and while that’s a fair point, it’s not something to be dismissed when you consider Balotelli’s current track record at City.

Playing with fireworks at home and committing casual arson – check. Throwing darts at a youth team player – check. Crashing a £120,000 Bentley – check. You name the incident – young Mario’s done it. And yet, despite all the off-field issues that surround him and his personal life, he remains a lethal weapon on the field of play when his mind is in the right place.

Powerful, direct and a handful for any defence, the Italian proved on occasions last season that he could be a real star for City, even more so in Euro 2012 when he displayed prowess for his national side, namely in the Italians’ 2-1 semi-final win over Germany in which he scored two textbook goals. These flashes of brilliance surely serve to highlight the influence he can have in games while at the same time begging us to ask – why can’t you do it more often, Mario?

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