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THE CURSE OF SUPER MARIO

Mario Balotelli, Italy, Manchester City, Liverpool, AC Milan, Inter Milan
That is the curse of ‘super Mario’, having had the world at his feet playing for some of the biggest football clubs in the world, the likes of Inter Milan, Manchester City, Liverpool and AC Milan – Mario Balotelli has lost his final straw.

He was named in the UEFA Team of the Tournament at just 21 years of age in EURO 2012, after playing an instrumental role in taking the Azzuri to the final in Kiev. Now 4 years later, the young prodigious talent has withered away – Mario Balotelli has seemingly played for his last big club.

That is the curse of ‘super Mario’, having had the world at his feet playing for some of the biggest football clubs in the world, the likes of Inter Milan, Manchester City, Liverpool and AC Milan – the mercurial Italian has lost his final straw.

Just this past week, his manager at AC Milan left him as an unused substitute in the Serie-A clash against Chievo. Sinisa Mihajlovic said: “I think his physical condition is good, but psychologically he’s not quite there yet. He needs to improve mentally, but that has always been his problem.”

That was followed by Italian manager Antonio Conte leaving him out of his squad for the friendlies versus Spain & Germany ahead of EURO 2016, meaning the Balotelli rollercoaster has hit a new low.

Brought by Brendon Rodgers to Liverpool for £16 million after having enjoyed a rich vein of form in bagging 30 goals in 54 games for AC Milan – Balotelli’s second chance at English football and reviving his promising career has been nothing short of disappointing. For a boy who had a difficult childhood to having the world at his feet at 19, winning the Champions League – Balotelli was destined for greatness. But instead he’s been unsettled ever since, moving from one club to another – and now the Rossoneri seem to be turning up the chance to make it a permanent deal, setting him up for a return to Merseyside. However, Jurgen Klopp wants no part of Balotelli either, which means the glamourous options worthy of this once creative genius have all but gone.

Having scored just 1 goal and notched up just 3 starts this season for AC Milan, Balotelli at just 25 seems like a player bored, unmotivated and coming off to boos from his own fans at the San Siro in their draw versus Lazio earlier this week. The player lacks the desire, the hunger and passion for the game that made him a true superstar. Is it too late for Super Mario? Only time will tell.

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