Monday, August 23, 2010

Can Mario Balotelli thrive at City?

Mario Balotelli has always had talent. As an AC Milan fan I have been witness to the flashes of brilliance that Balotelli provided Inter Milan during his playing time in Serie A. With his latest £24 million move to Manchester City, I believe that the young Italian can finally play up to his full potential now that he is away from the confines of his home.

Two things plagued Balotelli during his tenure in Italy: infrequent playing time and racial abuse. Super Mario frequently saw himself on the bench or out of the squad for much of last season’s remarkable Treble winning run. During his time at Inter, Balotelli saw a plethora of other players chosen over him in the starting eleven, whether it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Diego Milito, or Samuel Eto’o.

While these players are world class strikers, Balotelli at 20 years old is in his most impressionable and important stages of development as a player and a person. There is no way Super Mario would have been able to develop into the talent he is capable of by rotting on the bench in Milan.

Finally, escaping the well documented racial abuse that Balotelli endured during his time at Milan will do wonders for the youngster. Racist chants seemed to follow Balotelli wherever he went, with fans chanting things such as “a black Italian does not exist.” I believe Balotelli’s confidence and abilities can only improve as these racial issues subside.

Balotelli has already made an impact during his short time with City, as he scored the winning goal in his debut in the Europa League. If Super Mario puts in the effort, and is given a chance by Roberto Mancini, Manchester City might have just made the transfer of the season.

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