Man City striker Mario Balotelli visits prisoners in Florence - Manchester City FC

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Season 2011/12

Balotelli takes a prison break

  • 07 September 2011 08:41
  • Posted by Peter Ferguson

So, a quick glance through the headlines then ... Capello says England are lucky to beat Wales, Naismith gives Scotland hope, India lose again, Mario Balotelli in jail in Italy ... woah, hang on.

No, it's not a misprint, but relax, Mario's high spirits haven't annoyed his fellow Italians that much. Goal.com explains that "stars including Mario Balotelli and Gianluigi Buffon signed autographs and spoke to inmates" on a prison visit in Florence.

"As part of the Vivi Azzurro project, (national team) players visited the Sollicciano prison and received a warm reception."

Balo and Buffon were presented on stage to answer questions. "When I was asked to come here I accepted without a second thought," Balotelli said. "Guys, don't give up, everyone has an opportunity in this life."

They add: "When asked about using his iPad on the bench during a recent fixture for Italy, Balotelli responded: 'My iPad? I wasn't listening to it when I was on the bench, I listened to it before that.'

Compelling stuff. Whether they played darts afterwards, we don't know.

The nationals have taken a renewed interest in Nedum Onuoha, and note that he is in City's Premier League squad - as "revealed", to little reaction at the time, on the website last Friday.

Nedum was linked with a summer move, but the Independent's Ian Herbert reports that "Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha is to be brought back into manager Roberto Mancini's plans for this season.

"The 24-year-old wanted to leave City in the summer, having long despaired of regular first-team football, but the club's failure to agree a move to Everton, Blackburn Rovers or Queen's Park Rangers, has led the former England under-21 international to seek discussions with Mancini and earn a second chance.

"Mancini, who lacks home-grown players for his Champions League squad quota, is keen to take that opportunity and give the defender another chance.

"It means that Onuoha will no longer be with the City reserves set-up and is likely to take a place in the first-team squad when City's campaign restarts at home to Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

"Onuoha has always believed that City should not squander the work done at their Academy while seeking Champions League and Premier League success. He went on loan to Sunderland last season but a permanent move was not forthcoming."

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