Balotelli leaves City for AC Milan
- 31 January 2013 10:10
- Posted by @dclayton_MCFC
Manchester City confirms that Mario Balotelli has now completed his move to AC Milan.
His medical was completed in Milan this morning (Thursday).
The Italian joined the Blues in 2010 from Inter Milan, he made 80 appearances (including as a substitute) scoring 30 goals – more than 25% of them from the penalty spot.
A complex character, Balotelli quickly came under the media spotlight in the Premier League where his off the field behaviour became a subject for daily reports.
His every move – even those that were completely fabricated - was headline news Mario sold newspapers and generated online traffic.
All the while, his day job was playing football and while he never consistently hit the sort of heights Roberto Mancini believed possible, he occasionally showed flashes of genius.
Who could forget his penalty taking technique, which is probably as good as you’ll find anywhere in football, past or present.
His focus and belief that he would never miss is the stuff of legend, but then again, who could forget the audacious pirouette and miss during the friendly with LA Galaxy that infuriated Mancini so much. That was Mario
It seemed the equal of Mario’s top end skill was the ability to shoot himself in the foot – the same foot that somehow got a touch on to a pass that allowed Sergio Aguero to dart into the area and score the goal that won the title last May.
Balotelli scored some vital goals along the way, too, with his crucial strike against Sunderland sparking a fight-back that earned City an unlikely a 3-3 draw.
In the latter game, he also was retrospectively banned for what a stamp on Scott Parker.
And let's not forget the two goals against Manchester United in the 6-1 win at Old Trafford and the T-shirt that simply asked, 'Why always me?'
A reckless challenge on a Dynamo Kyiv player when the Blues were chasing a 2-0 deficit was one of three red cards Mario was shown during his City career – he was also given his marching orders against West Brom and Arsenal and there was a feeling that, while Mario could win you a game, he could potentially lose you it as well.
In City boss Mancini, Mario perhaps had his greatest admirer, but also his biggest critic.
Perhaps one moment that summed up this talented footballer’s maverick ability was the goal he scored with his shoulder against Norwich. It was quintessential Mario – unorthodox, sublime with just a hint of arrogance.
Adored by some City fans, thought an expensive luxury by others, Balotelli was certainly a name known by supporters all over the country.
His haircuts, T-shirts, camouflage cars, brilliance and ability to frustrate and delight will now for a second time be part of Italian football.
We wish Mario good luck in his new home.