Since 2018, he has not kicked in the Italian national team. He watched last year’s ride of his partners for the title of European champions only at the screen. Mario Balotelli is back now. On Wednesday, he will put on a national jersey and run to the field in Coverciano, Tuscany, the seat of the national team. Together with 34 other footballers, he was called by coach Roberto Mancini, who composes the team for the March playoffs to advance to the World Cup.
Mario Balotelli reacted unusually calmly to his return. “I’m fine and in a good mood. It’s normal to play at the age of 31,” he told reporters. “I believe that Italy qualifies for the championship. The fact that it has to play in the playoffs just happens,” added former cannon player Inter Milan, Manchester City, AC Milan and Liverpool.
Since last year, Balotelli has been succeeding the newcomer to the Turkish league, Adana Demirspor, which is being coached by his Italian compatriot Vincenzo Montella. In 19 matches, the former renowned gunner scored eight goals. He manages to restart his career after a failed return to his home in Brescia and a short engagement in the second league Monza.
And he believes coach Mancini that he didn’t just take him to the team in numbers. “We had fun and everything is fine. He once helped me make his debut, I hope he will see me finish one day,” he said of his destiny coach. Italy will have a qualifying match against North Macedonia on March 24 and, if successful, the better from the Portugal-Turkey pair.
It was Mancini who led Balotelli in Inter and Manchester City. In the Milan team, he bet on the young player and made his debut in Serie A. That was in 2007, when Balotelli was only 17 years old.
The goal center, whose career was marked by a number of fads on and off the field, was then fathered by Mancini in Manchester. He knew that he had an extraordinary talent on the team, but he had to keep a close eye on him, otherwise he would not stop going to training drunk, fighting and doing scandals in bars.
In England, Mancini even moved Balotelli home to keep him under surveillance. “Every coach who coaches him should definitely receive a double salary – such compensation for Balotelli,” he told Corriere della Sera reporters at the time.
Now his protégé has an easier role in the national team. Italy won the Euro last year without a reliable midfielder. Lazio’s Ciro Immobile has not again sold the form with which he reigns to the gunners in Serie A. Andrea Belotti of FC Turin is a substitute in the team and is currently injured.
And Balotelli is confident. In response to his call to the national team, he published on Instagram his goal from the Euro 2012 semifinals against Germany, when he posed in the style of the Incredible Hulk from the action film of the same name. Despite criticism, he doesn’t rejoice much on the field. “I’m just doing my job. Does the postman celebrate when he delivers the letter?” he credited him with a quote and the nickname Postman during the Twitter tournament.