The Italian Mario Baletolli has been linked to Arsenal over the past few weeks with several news outlet speculating that Arsenal are interested in signing him. Although he is mostly known for is antics on and off the field which has resulted in him being tagged with a bad boy reputation. His football abilities have never been in doubt despites his few years in football, he has written himself in the consciousness of many for various reasons. From a football only point of view, here is five things to know about the enigmatic Italian.
- Do You Know He Once Had A Trial with Barcelona
It will come as a surprise to many, but Balotelli once had an unsuccessful trial with Barcelona at the age of 15. He however made is debut as a player on 2nd April, 2006 at the same age of 15 in the Italian 3rd division then with little known Italian side Lumezzane.
His initial move to Inter Milan was on loan in 2006. But he was signed permanently in June 2007. After four years in Inter’s colours, he was transferred to Manchester City in the summer of 2010 where he was united with Roberto Mancini, who gave him is debut at the Inter Milan. His troublesome stay in England also included being bizarrely substituted in a Europa League match against Dynamo Kiev 2011 for being allergic to the pitch in Kiev. He joined AC Milan in January, 2013.
2. Do You Know He Once played in England before joining Manchester City.
Yes, Mario Balotelli played in England before he ever thought of playing for Manchester City. This happened in a friendly match against Sheffield F.C. at Bramall Lane on 8 November, 2007 as part of the club’s 150th anniversary. He scored twice in that match in a 5-2 win.
3. He Remains Inter Milan’s Youngest ever scorer in the Champions League.
In a Champions League match against Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta played in November, 2008 he scored in a 3 all draw to become Inter’s youngest scorer at this level age 18 years and 85 days wiping the record of Obafemi Martins at (18 years and 145 days) initially set against Ac Milan in a Champions League semi final.
4. Do you Know His Biological Parents are Ghanaians and he made his National team debut against an African team.
Mario Balotelli was born to Ghanaian immigrant parents in Palermo which accounts for the middle name – Barwuah. The name Balotelli belongs to his foster parents who raised him from age three. He made his Italian debut against Cote d’ Ivoire in a friendly match on August 10, 2010.
5. Do You Know He has a younger brother who is a footballer
Enoch Barwuah by name, he currently plays in the Malta Premier League for Qormi. And once had a trial with Stoke City and Sunderland respectively in December, 2011 and January, 2012 before he signed for Salford City of in November 2012.