Al Volo: Mario Balotelli Highlights Inter Slip

Unless you have spent the last few weeks living life on Mars, you will be undoubtedly aware that Internazionale FC forward Mario Balotelli is expected to join Manchester City. The Eastlands club continue to acquire some of the world’s most talented players, with David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov already confirmed.

Jose Mourinho has left last season’s treble winners, replaced by ex-Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez and many people view that single move as a clear sign of decline from Serie A’s most dominant side.

Brian Clough & Don Revie, oh, wait…

That attacking full-back Douglas Maicon also seems certain to follow his coach to Madrid only reinforces this view. However it is the sale of the talented Italian youngster which has caused most concern.

Inter are widely ridiculed for having so many foreigners in their squad, with Balotelli, David Santon and Marco Materazzi being the only Italians at the club.

With Santon constantly struggling with injuries, Materazzi clearly at the end of his career, Balotelli was the one shining light in a largely South American side.

The player has clearly had problems – he was photographed in a Milan shirt as part of a practical joke not so long ago, and was involved in an incident with a toy gun which resulted in his arrest.

See you again soon…”

However, with Mourinho hardly being the best coach at developing young players Balotelli clearly grew frustrated, and these frankly minor incidents were nothing Inter haven’t dealt with before. Compare the intolerance on display here compared with the leniency shown to Adriano before those ties were finally cut.

Balotelli is, based on impact and talent, perhaps one of the top ten prospects in world football. For Manchester City to be able to secure his signature for less than €30 million is madness from Inter President Massimo Moratti.

City coach Roberto Mancini will be more aware than anyone of the players volotile temprement – having given him his debut at Inter in December 2007. Indeed the relationship between the two is believed to be the basis of the move.

The greater tolerance and multi-cultural blend of England and English football will obviously help a player who has become a hate-figure in Italy, as will the less tactical nature of the EPL. Less responsibility on the field should see his immense natural talent flourish.

A great situation for Manchester City, Mancini and Super-Mario, but Inter seem intent on moving backwards. An interesting time for Serie A fans as the anticipation for the new season grows ever greater.

Author Details

Adam Digby

'Al Volo' Serie A columnist on BPF, and Italian football journalist, contributor and Calcio Italia magazine. Co-founder of

4 thoughts on “Al Volo: Mario Balotelli Highlights Inter Slip

  1. Mario is a Marmite individual. He’s going to divide opinion like Drogba does. The comparisons between the two will be obvious.

    He’s going to be under enormous pressure because the media are going to be all over him. He is good copy and Mancini will need to protect him a little. Signing Dzeka would help on and off the pitch. Someone like Vieira will need to father him.

    Inter will be reconstructed in to Rafa’s image. Whether that image is Italian, Spanish or British is anyone’s guess.

  2. As a City fan I’m very much undecided about Balotelli. He’s very much an individual that won’t want to tow the party line, and that could cause problems within a squad with so many egos that will require stroking.

    Having said that, there is no denying what an exceptional talent he is. Ancelotti has been waxing lyrical about him over the last few days and his goalscoring record was pretty solid for Inter.

    It really could go either way with him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *