Connect with us

Leagues: EPL

Mario Balotelli Faces Crossroads In His Career

Mario Balotelli is back in the headlines again this week. In other news, the sun has risen in the east to reveal that the sky is in fact blue. These are things that should surprise no one. It’s been written over and over again with the same old cliché of him being an “enigmatic” striker. But the fact is that there is nothing enigmatic about Mario Balotelli. Is he capable of conjuring brilliance at a moment’s notice? Of course. Is he capable of doing something so incredibly stupid that it leaves one at a loss for words? Yes, A thousand times yes. The fact of the matter is Roberto Mancini knew all these things when he convinced his bosses at Manchester City to bring him in for £25 million. But it was Mancini’s arrogance in thinking that he could control him and turn him into something that he is not ready to become that has caused this whole debacle at City.

Mario is who he is. The only thing that is going to change him is the wisdom that comes with age. But at this point even that is a long shot. One only has to look as far as Antonio Cassano to see that no matter how old a petulant player gets, there is always going to be some residual of that attitude hanging around the player. The real question is what team is going to be willing to put up with him long enough to get the most out of his wealth of talent. England was the absolute worst place that he could have ended up because of the way the English press will jump on any small hint of controversy. But at this point there really isn’t anywhere that he could go and not be put under a constant media microscope. With his exploits on and off the field his career is going to be scrutinized and analyzed to absolutely no end.

Forget about his off the field issues that he has had. Those are the sort of things that every star player goes through in any sport. If he ever learns to control himself on the pitch then he will have taken that next step to becoming one of the best players in the world. The silly little fights with teammate and being goaded into losing his temper and committing stupid fouls — these are the things that are killing his reputation as a player. A team is willing to put up with some of these things if a player is producing on a consistent basis. But with his erratic performances the upside of bringing him into a club is severely limited. He’s like Tiger Woods minus the mind blowing success. Tiger had always acted disgracefully on the golf course, but when he was winning everyone brushed it aside as him being a perfectionist with an intense will to win. Nowadays since the winning has ceased, people are taking a much harsher view on Tiger and his petulance, viewing him as more of a spoiled child than an intense winner. If Balotelli had come into City, scored 20+ goals and was leading them to an insurmountable lead atop the table, the press and his team would have taken the same view. It’s just Mario being Mario. He wants to win oh-so-badly that sometimes his judgment gets clouded. But instead we’re left with an impressive yet inconsistent goal scoring record and Manchester City choking at the most crucial point of the season. It’s amazing how quickly the narrative can change once the winning stops.

At the tender age of 21, Mario Balotelli is at a crossroad in his life and career. It’s a place that isn’t all that unfamiliar to a person his age. The only difference is that the typical 21-year-old doesn’t have the smallest action they take splashed across the news headlines. With his City career seemingly coming to an end according to Mancini, he has some serious soul searching to do.

My advice to Mario would be to take some time off (which he may have since his place in the Italy squad isn’t exactly guaranteed) and really sit down to evaluate where he is in his life and where he wants to go. Leave the agents, the press, the coaches and various outside influences behind and take some time to soul search. Does he want to buckle down and become that world beating striker who leads his club and country to consistent success? Or does he want to be the temperamental star that is seen as more of a liability despite his talent? If he really wants to be the best soccer player he can be, then he needs to come to that realization on his own and do his best to stick to that path. It’s not too late for him to turn his career and image around, to become that superstar and not just another “What could have been” story. But he needs to start taking those steps soon or else that’s exactly what will be said about him. Mario Balotelli, what could have been?

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
  • Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
  • Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
  • Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more


  1. Nonsense

    April 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Gaffer – if you say move on I will. I’m just irritated that the poster personally attacked me. I was just trying to prove a point. I have to admit it irritates me a little that you direct this at me when it was obvious Fog was the one to go off topic and insult me.

    No need to close the comments and I’m shocked you would consider banning me. However, like I said I will not post again in this article.

  2. Fog

    April 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    “Nonesense” – Just curious…how long does it take you to hit enter on your posts and then press the “thumbs up” to give yourself approval???

    • Nonsense

      April 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Again, it’s sad when an old man resorts to posting things that have nothing to do with the actual article/post. Your ‘nonEsense’ joke is lame. You’re acting quite trollish today.

      I think it’s hilarious that you think I would be ashamed of giving myself a ‘thumbs up’. I absolutely give myself a thumbs up…why wouldn’t I? Looks like I’m not the only either.

      • The Gaffer

        April 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm

        Lads, let’s keep the conversation related back to the topic of the article — which is Mario Balotelli. Otherwise, let’s move on.

        The Gaffer

        • Nonsense

          April 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm

          I completely agree. You see Fog is the type of poster that when someone actually tries to make a point or directs questions to him that are related to the TOPIC he gets confused and then ornery when the nurses don’t bring the jello out that day.

          Fog – let me act like you and not stick to the discussion and bring up unfounded things. I say you’re a racist and if Mario was any shade lighter you’d have no problem. Feel free to now tell me your black or you best friend is. You see how that works Fog?

          • The Gaffer

            April 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm

            Nonsense, like I said, let’s move on. Drop it. Otherwise, I’ll be forced to close the comments or ban you as a user.

            Thanks for your cooperation.

            The Gaffer

  3. Lee

    April 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    nothing ever changes. He will always be the same.

  4. Pete

    April 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    The guy is a tool, he needs to be sold, although I don’t know would want him. He has talent but his attitude sucks

  5. Fog

    April 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I wasn’t getting paid millions of dollars (pounds) to play a game; and then throwing it away because I was so ignorant that I didn’t know better. And I wasn’t affecting my friends/teammates with my self-centered belligerent actions.

    • Nonsense

      April 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      That’s right YOU WEREN’T 21 getting paid that much with pressures you know nothing about. I’ll also guarantee you did your fair share of dumb things at that age. Thanks for proving my point!

      • Fog

        April 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm

        I’m not sure what point I “proved”….other than possibly showing that you misspelled you name…shouldn’t if be “NONESENSE”?????

        “Nonesense” may be skillfully employed to give the impression that meaningful comments or thoughts are being contributed.

        • Nonsense

          April 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

          Too many things to say about that ridiculous response. You proved the point that you have nothing to say in this matter your youth was not comparible in any shape or form. Again I ask at 21 you were a saint?

          No, the name is ‘nonsense’ as in pointing out the BS that has little or no meaning. Such as the comments you spew frequently. If that’s a picture of you as a kid, I’ll leave it at that and respect my elders.

      • Pete

        April 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm

        Pressure? What Pressure? The guy gets paid tons of money to kick a ball around. And as for age, that has nothing to do with it. Giggs and Scholes were both a lot younger than this guy, Giggs was 17 when he played in the first team for Man Utd and you didn’t see him acting like a tool

        • Nonsense

          April 11, 2012 at 11:08 am

          Perspective Pete – Scholes and Giggs didn’t start making the same money Mario is. The press on Mario is in no way comparable to Scholes or Giggs when they were his age.

          I will say Scholes is one of the most professional footballers I’ve seen in my time.

          • Pete

            April 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

            It’s just the same, Giggs may have been on £50,000 a week when he was 18 but that kind of money bought you a hell of a lot in the early 90’s, it buys you a hell of a lot today. So just because Mario may get 150,000 it’s just the same in terms of what you can buy with the money.
            Stop trying to find excuses for him, there isn’t any. He’s not the only young player on lots of money, In fact 21 is not even that young when you look at Rooney 16, Giggs 17, Wilshere 18. The list is endless

          • Nonsense

            April 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm

            You’re missing my point the money isn’t comparable over time and the entire focus of the press was not on them. I’m not trying to make excuses I just don’t jump on the bandwagon just because everyone else does.

      • Guy

        April 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm

        I don’t know about you, but I suspect a lot of us had our noses to the grindstone. That’s obviously not where Mario’s is. The pressure he lives with just breaks my heart.

        • Nonsense

          April 11, 2012 at 11:13 am

          Guy! We’ve had good banter before don’t ruin it with the sarcasm. At 21 I worked hard after University but I was not that mature to be honest and if you throw in the money (which for a lot of you think plays no part but a positive one -untrue) and the relentless press you get a combustible kid.

          • Guy

            April 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm

            No problem. I don’t entirely disagree with you. I just think Mario would be Mario, regardless. Personally, at 21 I was way more of a pain in the ass than I am now…..which leaves my newer friends flabbergasted. 😉

          • Nonsense

            April 11, 2012 at 6:50 pm

            Good to hear. One of the EPL posters that I can have a conversation with and keeps a sense of humor.

  6. Nonsense

    April 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    What were any of you doing at 21 you self-righteous holier-than-thou hyprocrits.

    Time cures all…

  7. Guy

    April 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    While we’re debating the value/impact of a player, try this one on for size:


  8. Andrei

    April 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I’m in the “this Balotelli thing is blown out of proportion” camp. Baloletelli “actions” in the Arsenal game only included one episode of a reckless challenge on Song. His two yellow cards were a bit soft in my mind but many believe that he’s got what he deserved. I agree that his challenge on Song was late and dangerous. However, Alex Song’s foul on Yaya Toure that knocked Yaya out of the game was as dangerous and had actually significantly bigger impact on the game. And it is hardly mentioned at all.

    It is sad how media and fans focus only on convenient targets. For example, when Luis Suarez dives even when there is a doubt if it was a dive at all media explodes with accusations and fans are quick to state his antics have no place in EPL. However, when Gareth Bale dives and even gets yellow carded for the offence the episode is completely ignored. On Sunday there was a shameful dive by Antonio Valencia that got QPR player red carded. But media focused on missed offside not Valencia theatrics. Imagine if was Luis Suarez instead of Antonio Valencia. On Monday in Chelsea vs Fulham game Riise dives and gets Meireles yellow carded – silence again…

    • Nonsense

      April 11, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Completely agree with you Andrei.

    • Guy

      April 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      That was Ashley Young, not Valencia. However your points are on the mark, nonetheless. Some players do seem to have a bulls eye on their backs, but there’s generally a reason for it. We’ll see if Mario can get rid of his.

  9. jtm371

    April 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Well since the FA did nothing to balotelli will mankini show some backbone and leave him on the bench?how the FA can let the balotelli deal stand and not overturn the QPR red card is a wonder how the power men behind the curtain can screw up such a great game oh well lets see what the mankini will do with his clown.

  10. elliott

    April 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Balo is a basketcase, but that Song tackle looks 100 times worse in slow mo than at game speed in real time. He actually got ball and deflected Song’s attempt at a chip. If he’d have kept his studs down, it may not even have been a yellow card.

    • Fog

      April 10, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      If, if, if…..”If ifs and buts were candy and nuts we’d all have a merry Christmas.” Including Valotelli….

      • Guy

        April 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

        Thank you, Dandy Don. 😉

        • Fog

          April 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm

          Guy, your age is showing. Obviously the “thumbs down” doesn’t have the advantage of years that we have!!! BTW, the “og” in Fog stands for “old guy”….I’ll leave it up to you on what the “F” stands for…

  11. Gargoyle

    April 10, 2012 at 5:42 am

    It’s sad, because regardless of who you support you like to see the best talents out there doing their thing. I feel the same way about Tevez who will also be a perpetual malcontent.

    Bottom line is you gotta wonder how much either one of these guys actually likes playing football?

  12. Frill Artist

    April 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I wonder where the Man Sh*tty fans stand on this one.

  13. Taylor

    April 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Did anyone notice when Mario got injured right before halftime against Arsenal ? None of his teammates approached him, instead they just went to the dressing room.

  14. Huy

    April 9, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    The media overhypes what he does. So he is a low IQ, silly footballer. Most of them are, do you think the majority of professional players are scholars? He did a few dumb things and dresses funny at times so the media ran with it. Only if they put every footballer under a magnifying glass then we would see how over exaggerated his reputation is.


    • Yespage

      April 10, 2012 at 11:48 am

      How many players red card ten minutes after being sub’d in a game? Balotelli is special in his antics. The interest probably comes most from the fact he can score well and is a really talented player. If his presence wasn’t so strong on the pitch, he’d be dropped by any squad for his inability to play with any composure.

  15. CH

    April 9, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I know im gonna get killed for this but i feel like the media exaggerates everything that he does. If he sneezes then hes “Attacking the Air!”. Hes never done some of the stuff that some players have done off the field, yet you would think he has a criminal record the media acts. As for him having a temper i know another Manchester striker who had red card troubles when he was young. Oh and hes arrogant what a sin, i could tell you multiple players who handle themselves this way on the pitch. He’s the scapegoat for City’s collapse but without him they wouldn’t have even been in the title race. Its funny that people are talking about when the team didnt walk over to him at halftime because they knew he was faking or embellishing. Trust me if you watch enough football it happens all the time. When a player dives his teammates usually don’t go over to help him, though if you listened to sky or fsc you’d think that this was the first time in history its happened and that this provesthat everybody in the locker room hates him.

    • jtm371

      April 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      did the media make up him stomping on S Parker’s head,or when he tried to brake Song’s leg.he has no respect for his team, teammates, manager.i guess Josie is a idiot because he got rid of him when he was at Inter.maybe you should let us know what the media made up that you can prove he did not do.

      • CH

        April 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm

        Did the media acknowledge Rooney for stomping on the Portuguese player at the 2006 WC, did they even acknowledge the fact that he had a kick at that Montenegro player in the Euro qualifiers. They make excuse after excuse for him. Oh i forgot he said sorry so he respects the English fans, teammates and managers. No of course its different, so different that the same FA is pleading for his suspension to be dropped, how hypocritical. Of course hes different than Balotelli hes earned the right to make mistakes. I can also site examples from the league too but im sure that its different than Balotelli’s mistakes, cause Rooney plays with passion!

        • San Franciscan

          April 9, 2012 at 11:13 pm

          I’m sorry but as far as I remember yes, the media went overboard when Rooney stomped on those player’s legs especially the Montenegro player, as for Balotelli he never respects the team he plays for, I remember while he was at Inter he wore an AC Milan shirt, now how insulting is that? Imagine Balotelli going out in a Man United shirt.

          • CH

            April 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm

            I cant defend the AC Milan shirt thing that was disrespectful. My main point was that Rooney is just a more complete version of Balotelli but doesn’t receive half the flack that Balotelli has. Though he has the same reputation he actually has to do something wrong to be reprimanded while Balotelli gets attacked constantly for little reason most of the time. It seems like its consensus among the media that Balotelli isnt worth the risk but Rooney is. How have we come to this conclusion? One player is alot older and more experienced than the other. Lets give Balotelli time. Plus like i’ve said b4 most of what he does isnt a big deal, the man made a bad tackle so what, so do many other players.

    • Yespage

      April 10, 2012 at 8:25 am

      How many red cards has Rooney received this season? Balotelli’s greatest problem is in letting his team down by getting red cards. He earned at least two of them in the Arsenal game.

      The guy is capable of some great, what seems effortless, quality plays. But he is also capable of being sub’d on and getting a red card ten minutes later. That’s a liability on the field. Rooney (or insert whomever you wants name here) doesn’t have that sort of liability.

      • Guy

        April 10, 2012 at 8:42 am

        Yes. Anyone can get a red card, but with Mario you’re just waiting for it to happen. If you’re a teammate or a fan that’s not a good thing.

        • Harold

          April 10, 2012 at 10:22 am

          That is exactly right. Mario was on a mission to get a red card against Arsenal. Obviously that makes him a liability, but after selecting him for the game how much responsibility should the manager take for not seeing this and subbing him out?

          • Yespage

            April 10, 2012 at 11:44 am

            Ultimately, his red card didn’t affect the outcome of the Arsenal game, as it came late, so not sub’ing Balotelli out wasn’t a determining factor of the game, and Balotelli did come close to scoring. I was thinking that after that challenge, he probably should have been taken out by Mancini as he was clearly a train wreck and in danger of limiting Man City to 10 men.

            Oddly enough, a red card in the first half for his absurdly reckless challenge, may have awoken Man City who were otherwise outplayed by Arsenal. We’ll never know how the game would have finished had Balotelli been rightly sent off in the first half.

      • RVPFan

        April 10, 2012 at 11:55 am

        How many red cards has Rooney received this season?

        Deserved a lot but got nothing. Favorable treatment? Can’t say for sure. But the guy deserves few reds for sure. Some players just seem to be able to get away with it. There are lot of incidents in a game where some get red when others dive and some made leg-breaking tackles or just high-stud dangerous tackles and don’t get anything in return. Nature of officiating has been piss-poor in terms of consistency this season than any season that I can recall.

        I won’t squarely put the blame on the ref all the time. Because whether it’s George Clooney or Wayne Rooney (just making a point), umpires have a hard time distinguishing the real incident versus the theatrical dives or somebody actually got shot in the field.

        Wayne seems to get away with stomps high studs more than most, and he does it in a fox like cunning way and makes it like nothing really happened. You can do that these days.

    • Nonsense

      April 11, 2012 at 11:29 am

      CH – completely agree. The only ones who will ‘beat you up’ are MAN City (must make this clarification for the Gaffer) haters, unemeployed, and the retirees that frequent this site!

      • Nonsense

        April 11, 2012 at 11:30 am

        I forgot the holier-than-thou and hypocrits that also lurk this site.

    • Clampdown

      April 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      I’ll let the others kill you. I happen to agree with you.

      Don’t worry, soon enough England will rid itself of all the pantomime villains and players with personality. It will be all saints.

  16. jtm371

    April 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    What a waste of talent could have been great but never wanted to grow up and respect authority.why would anybody want to take this clown on after his stay at City?only one City player went by at half yesterday when he was down i thought that spoke volumes about what his teammates think of him. just take your tired act and go away and don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

  17. Fog

    April 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Too bad that Volatelli doesn’t play for Liverpool. King Kenny would have everyone believing that he is a saint and his actions are perfectly normal…Everyone is conspiring against poor Mario!!!! Since, he doesn’t play for Liverpool he will just have to reconcile the fact that he is an idiot and will always be one.

    • Gargoyle

      April 10, 2012 at 5:38 am

      I was going to say the same thing. Not sure who’s nuttier, KD or MB?

  18. Nelson

    April 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Agree with the artIcle except the Tiger Woods comparison. About the worst Tiger ever did (in a competition) was slam his club into the ground. Balotelli slams his cleats into other players heads while their still on the ground (Scott Parker). And no, Balotelli would still not get a free pass from the press if was Lionel Messi.

  19. digger

    April 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    You can only get away with so much. Like you said if he was helping City win and scoring massive amounts of goals than the fans and the press wouldn’t mind his complete insanity but since he isn’t then he can’t get away with such antics. At Inter he was hated because of this attitude but at City when they were doing good and he was playing well people brushed his nonsense as nothing but now with angry fans and a hungry media they all turn to him as the scapegoat.

    • Danny

      April 10, 2012 at 2:21 am

      Too bad city isn’t winning any trophies. I guess Mario’s actions in the Arsenal game wouldn’t have criticized so much when it happened earlier in the season, when City was on a winning streak. Still though, I do believe that his actions are unacceptable at this period of the season, when City needs to win all the remaining games to have the slightest chance at the title. I am a fan of Mario, but I can’t defend him this time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Leagues: EPL

Translate »