"Why always me?"—this was written on a shirt that Mario Balotelli presented after a goal against Manchester United in 2011. This sentence tells everything about the career of Balotelli. His biography is the story of a young, brilliant soccer player, who is always his own worst enemy. This is what makes him one of the most polarizing players in the world.
Photo used with permission
Mario Barwuah Balotelli was born on August 12th in Palermo, Italy. He is the son of Ghanaian parents, Thomas and Rose Barwuah, who immigrated to Italy. He has one younger brother: Enoch Barwuah Balotelli.
Mario had serious health problems during his early years. His family could not afford to help him, so, when he was three years old, they allowed him to be fostered by an Italian family who could afford his treatments: the Balotelli family.
Mario Balotelli started his career playing for AC Lumezzane. He made his debut in the third highest Italian league on April 2nd, 2006 in a game against Calcio Padova. Due to an exception permit, he was allowed to play at the age of 15 and became the youngest player ever to play in this league.
The big Italian team, Inter Milan, spotted his talent and signed him in August 2006.
At first, he played on Milan's youth teams or on the second team. He made his Serie A debut on December 16th, 2007 when he was substituted in a game against Cagliari Calcio. Balotelli scored 2 goals in an Italian Cup game 3 days later.
He obtained Italian citizenship when he turned 18. This allowed him to play for the Italian national team from then on.
The next season 2008/2009 would be when Mario Balotelli started making headlines outside the soccer field. He had problems with the new coach, Jose Mourinho, and was banned from the squad several times.
He decided to leave Inter Milan and moved to England to play for Manchester City in 2010.
Photo used with permission
Manchester City paid about $25 million for Mario Balotelli and he signed a five-year contract. Balotelli never really thrived in Manchester. He scored several goals, but coach Roberto Mancini always preferred other strikers.
On April 9th, 2012 Balotelli was suspended due to a foul. Mancini said he would not ever let him play again for Manchester City since this was not the first incident in which Balotelli was involved.
He had to pay about $400,000 to his club because several suspensions made him miss 11 games this season. He stayed 6 more months before he moved to AC Milan in January, 2013.
AC Milan has always been Mario Balotelli's favorite club even though he played for their city rival Inter Milan. They paid about $22 million for him and he scored 2 goals in his first game.
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