Mario Balotelli : Understanding World Football’s Great Enigma
As I am a Manchester United fan, it goes without saying that I am not particularly fond of Liverpool or a certain Mr Luis Suarez. So when the Uruguayan hitman decided to move away from Anfield this summer, I could not resist feeling a sense of evil satisfaction—especially with my team currently in the doldrums.
And then the news that Mario Balotelli would be arriving at Liverpool to replace Suarez just served to add to my schadenfreude, as I felt that the Italian problem child would completely disrupt the wonderful team harmony that Liverpool currently enjoy.
Much to my surprise, though, rather than being worried, most of my Liverpool mates were literally jumping with joy at Balotelli’s joining their beloved club. It was then that I began to ruminate over how one person can be so loved and loathed at the same time, and I set about trying to understand what makes ‘Super Mario’ the enigma that he is today.
They say there is no great genius without some touch of madness and this fact is somewhat epitomised by Mario Balotelli. The boy from Sicily has been a divisive figure ever since he burst onto the scene for the mighty Inter Milan as a promising teenager back in 2007, and to this day, the 24-year-old remains a character who fascinates as well as frustrates many.
In truth, Balotelli’s colourful career so far can be described as a huge contradiction and people are yet to make their minds up on what they think of the Italian superstar due to his propensity for being brilliant one minute and bafflingly eccentric the next.
Is he a genius or simply a madcap? Honest or disrespectful? A child at heart or a brutal cynic? A player with tremendous self-belief or just an arrogant prick?
There have been extensive psychological studies dedicated towards Balotelli’s behaviour, books published detailing his journey so far and even songs written about him by famous artistes. However, no one is closer to finding what makes Balotelli what he is today.
Despite possessing such a seemingly incomprehensible bipolar character, one thing that everyone can safely agree on is the fact that Mario Balotelli is a supremely gifted young footballer who commands the attention of the whole world like none of his contemporaries can.
Currently a first-choice striker for the Italian national team and having played for illustrious clubs such as Inter Milan, Manchester City, AC Milan and now Liverpool, Balotelli has achieved more than most and is living the dream —all at the age of just 24.- Sarad Bade Shrestha. Read More…