Monday, October 24, 2011

Mario Balotelli Set to Light Premier League Aflame



The young man knows how to set fires, as evidenced by his recent escapade involving fireworks and his home bathroom. Mario Balotelli also knows how to light up the scoreboard on the pitch. In Manchester City's grand 6-1 thrashing of crosstown rivals United, the Italian netted two goals and also drew a foul that resulted in Jonny Evans' sending off. Clearly he was the man of the match. Please bear in mind that this was probably one of the single greatest matches for any Manchester City fan in their whole history.


The blue side of Manchester has historically received the bulk of defeats in Manchester derbies over the years. The last time Manchester City finished in a higher league position than Manchester United, Mario Balotelli was not even born yet. But since the club was purchased by the infinitely wealthy Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, all is set to change.

In addition to the hundreds of millions of pounds invested into the club for the likes of Carlos Tevez, Samir Nasri, Eden Dzeko, and Yaya Toure, the team has also bought Balotelli. He was controversially shipped out from Inter Milan due to his immature and testy behavior which had resulted in booings from the home fans and him responding by throwing the team jersey to the ground on the field.

His Manchester City career began questionably, however, as "Super Mario" has been repeatedly involved in negative stories. He was chastised for throwing darts at youth players, he was substituted out of a preseason match in America after he attempted and missed an audacious back heel on a simple tap in opportunity. The substitution was followed by a heated exchange of words with coach Roberto Mancini on the sidelines. It seemed as though his act hadn't changed. Most importantly for the team however, is that he rarely made an impact last season, scoring only 6 goals for the club.

This year has told a different tale. He has already netted 5 goals and has drawn respectful remarks from team mate and goalkeeper Joe Hart, who has been impressed with Mario's recent maturity. Hart claims that Balotelli now has the backing of the entire squad.

Since City has recently had to deal with the immaturity levels of another striker by the name of Carlos Tevez, who refused to enter a match and clearly wants out of Manchester, somehow Mario will now be counted on to take the team to the top. Balotelli has so far shown his worth and talent this year and was especially important in the Manchester derby. Blues fans have all the hope in the world that this is going to be their year. It may well be the case, but it will depend in large part on how well Mario Balotelli can control his head. This will be the first time in his career when he is achieving massive praise on a personal level. We all know what absurdities he is capable of, and chances are, we will be sure to hear some more before the dust settles on his turbulent career.

1 comment:

  1. This is a fairly good articles but missing some key points in the career of "Super Mario." Throughout his time on the pitch Mario has had to deal with the racist chants of bigoted Italian fans. Supporters from Lazio to Jueventus despised Balotelli purely because the color of his skin. Did they hate Balotelli alone? No, they hate the idea that their "pure" Italian culture has been infiltrated by immigrants from Africa. The controversial star was unique to Series A because he is one of the only Italians of African descent playing in the league. When on the pitch as a teenager he was greeted at away stadiums with chants like “A n***** can’t be Italian” and other racist mantras.
    In the past couple of decades droves of immigrants have traveled from sub-Saharan Africa to Italy in an effort to find better economic opportunity. Like in many cultures, locals are afraid of these new immigrants and what they represent. To many of the Azzurri faithful the thought of a black man putting on the blue kit is threatening if not treasonous. Growing up with a white family he comes from fairly unique circumstances, and certainly has been a black sheep throughout his life. Who knows how this bigoted treatment affected a young Balotelli.
    The story of Mario Balotelli is much more complex; much more than lighting fireworks or throwing darts. In a way his story reflects a greater dynamic Italian culture is currently struggling with. Hopefully this footballer will remain focused and prove himself as one of the top strikers in the world.

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