Balotelli Set To Be Released By Brescia After Missing Training Sessions

In this file photo taken on September 24, 2019 Brescia's Italian forward Mario Balotelli gestures towards Juventus fans during the Italian Serie A football match Brescia vs Juventus at the Mario-Rigamonti stadium in Brescia. Marco Bertorello / AFP
In this file photo taken on September 24, 2019 Brescia’s Italian forward Mario Balotelli gestures towards Juventus fans during the Italian Serie A football match Brescia vs Juventus at the Mario-Rigamonti stadium in Brescia. Marco Bertorello / AFP

 

Mario Balotelli’s ill-fated stint at hometown club Brescia appears to be coming to an end, with local media reporting Saturday his contract will be terminated after repeated absences from training.

A letter notifying Balotelli of his release was sent to the Italy international by the club’s lawyers on Friday, according to Sky Sport, Gazzetta dello Sport and the AGI news agency.

Balotelli has reportedly missed a number of sessions since Serie A teams returned to training at the start of May. Players initially worked out individually before clearance was given for them to resume team training.

The 29-year-old said this week he had been sick and would send the club medical certificates as proof.

Brescia coach Diego Lopez said on Friday he was “disappointed” with the forward’s attitude.

“Mario is training separately because his team-mates have done work that he hasn’t,” Lopez told Corriere della Sera.

“The (individual) training sessions were optional, okay. But the group took one road and he took another. On Zoom, during the quarantine, we didn’t see him. Even if he says he feels good, he’s not at the level of his team-mates.”

Last month, Brescia president said Balotelli’s “mind is no longer” with the club, who were bottom of the table and nine points from safety when the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.

“I love him and I was hoping that the air of home and the desire to get back into the national team would do him good. We are all disappointed,” said Massimo Cellino.

Balotelli, who has 36 caps for Italy, joined Brescia last summer but has scored just five times in 19 matches for the club.

Balotelli Out Again As Mancini Brings New Faces Into Italy Squad

Balotelli Returns As Mancini Plots Italy Revival
Balotelli

 

Controversial striker Mario Balotelli was left out again as Italy coach Roberto Mancini brought three new players into his squad for upcoming fixtures on Friday.

The Azzurri, still re-building after missing out on last summer’s World Cup, face Portugal in a key Nations League match on November 17 and the United States of America in Genk, Belgium in a friendly on November 20.

Brescia teenager Sandro Tonali, Sassuolo midfielder Stefano Sensi and Hoffenheim striker Vincenzo Grifo are the new faces.

Balotelli, still struggling to make an impact this season with Ligue 1 Nice, missed out again after not being included in the squad for the October fixtures against Ukraine and Poland.

Italy captain and Juventus veteran Giorgio Chiellieni could win his 100th cap if he features in either of the games later this month.

Italy squad:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino)

Defenders: Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Mattia De Sciglio (Juventus), Emerson Palmieri (Chelsea/ENG), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan), Daniele Rugani (Juventus)

Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Cagliari), Roberto Gagliardini (Inter Milan), Jorginho (Chelsea/ENG), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Stefano Sensi (Sassuolo), Sandro Tonali (Brescia), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)

Forwards: Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Grifo (Hoffenheim), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Kevin Lasagna (Udinese), Leonardo Pavoletti (Cagliari), Matteo Politano (Inter Milan).

AFP

Balotelli Dropped From Italy’s Squad For Portugal Clash

Italy’s forward Mario Balotelli walks around the Luz stadium with teammates on September 9, 2018, on the eve of the UEFA Nations League A group 3 football match between Portugal and Italy. PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP

 

Forward Mario Balotelli has been dropped by Italy coach Roberto Mancini for Monday’s Nations League game against European champions Portugal in Lisbon.

Nice striker Balotelli came under fire for his performance in their Nations League opener against Poland on Friday, where the Azzurri were held 1-1.

The 28-year-old was substituted with a muscular problem, with Mancini conceding his fitness level was a problem.

It will be the first game which Balotelli has not played since Mancini took over last May after the four-time winners’ devastating failure to qualify for the World Cup.

But Balotelli has made the trip to Portugal with the squad as Mancini considers him to be a central figure in the team he is trying to rebuild.

Balotelli had played in all four games so far under Mancini, scoring in a 2-1 friendly win over Saudi Arabia.

Mancini’s other two friendlies were a 3-1 defeat to World Cup winners France and a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands.

Lorenzo Pellegrini has also been left out along with Cagliari goalkeeper Alessio Cragno, Juventus defender Daniele Rugani, and Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo.

Mancini confirmed that Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa would start after the 20-year-old proved pivotal when he came on last Friday, along with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Balotelli’s place could be taken by either Andrea Belotti or Ciro Immobile.

Mancini defended Balotelli from criticism.

“A player knows when he has played well or badly,” he said.

“I think Mario knows full well what his performance against Poland was like. Criticism is part of the game.

“We are only at the beginning of this journey and will change several players from the Poland game, also to look after the lads.

“We are ready and know it can be a very important match. I won’t say it’s decisive, as there are another two to go, but we are facing the reigning European champions.”

Italy’s have won six games to four for Portugal in previous meetings, but the Azzurri have not won a game in Lisbon in 31 years.

AFP

Balotelli Eyeing Man City Return

Italian striker Mario Balotelli has revealed he would return to play for former club Manchester City for free.

The 27-year-old has scored 16 goals in 21 games in his second season at Ligue 1 side Nice, but hankers for big trophies again.

“My aim is to return to a big club to win something important again,” Balotelli told Thursday’s edition of Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I’d like to get back to having a strong squad behind me. I want to play in the Champions League and win something.”

Balotelli won six trophies with Inter Milan including the Champions League before moving to Manchester City in 2010, followed by two spells at AC Milan either side of an unsuccessful stint at Liverpool.

He insisted he has put his wilder days behind him and surrounded by his family was enjoying football as never before.

“It’s a special season, it should always be like that. I have no pressure, I work well but I have been working well since my time at Liverpool but goals always make the difference.

“I was acting as a teenager but I’ve hurt nobody,” continued Balotelli of his controversial past. “Anyway people can’t ask a 20-year-old to stay at home.”

Balotelli left Liverpool on a free transfer in August 2016 to join Nice who are sixth in the French league this season.

But a return to an Italian club could be complicated, Balotelli believes.

“It’s hard to say (about AC Milan), there would be too much pressure on me like the last time. I wanted to visit my old team-mates a few weeks ago but (club chief executive Marco) Fassone said it was better not to do it.

“Inter are a great club. I got on very well there. I spoke with (sporting director Piero) Ausilio, I let him know that I would come back willingly. But it was only joking.”

But he added that “without a doubt” his best days were spent at Premier League leaders Manchester City, with whom he won the English title in dramatic fashion on the final day of the 2011-12 season.

“I had my best season there and there’s a unique atmosphere at the club, I’d return to play there even without a salary.”

AFP

Brendan Rodgers: Mario Balotelli Will Get More Chances

According Balotellito manager Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli would not be sold in the January transfer window; he would be given every chance to fight his way back into the team

Balotelli was left out of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round goalless draw with Bolton, provoking  speculation the 24-year-old’s career at Anfield was over.

Rodgers said on Monday  that it’s been a difficult period for the Liverpool striker but “he’s a good boy”.

Balotelli is said to have started the season with just eight league matches, his last in a 2-1 home defeat by Chelsea on 8 November, and has been linked with a move to Lazio.

The Italy forward is yet to score a Premier League goal since arriving from AC Milan last summer.

Rodgers added: “I’ve seen some bits this morning suggesting that’s him done here. That’s not the case at all”.

The team Manager also said: “I’ve shown in my time here that if players who have been out the fold for various reasons work hard every day in training, and show intensity and focus, then they have every chance of getting back in the side and staying there”.

EURO 2012: Balotelli vows to crush racial fans

While awaiting the opening of the EURO 2012 tournament this summer, racist fans got a note of warning from Italian striker and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli as he has vowed to ‘kill’ anyone  promoting racial abuse during the summer tournament and this will not apply to him alone but to other minority players.

Recalling Balotelli’s horrific racist incidents in the past, it can be said that he’s been there and knows how it feels to be racially abused on the field of play and on that ground has cautioned any potential racist fans and scene-makers to stay at home.

According the Manchester City Striker “I will not accept racism at all, it’s unacceptable. If someone throws a banana at me in the street, I will go to jail, because I will kill them.”

An incident that happened in Rome had bananas and banana peels hauled at Balotelli three years ago during the U-21 European Championships and he revealed how close he was to dealing with the racists himself.

“It was lucky that the police arrived quickly because, I swear, I would have beaten them,” he reflected. “I would have really destroyed them. I hope it never happens again.”

Aside that, Balotelli is hoping to have an incident-free tournament and he believes with that he can say he will fully enjoy the tournament like the rest of the world is hoping too.

The European Championships represent a chance for Europe’s top talents to compete at the highest level, and Balotelli hopes it passes without issues.

Manchester United favourite for EPL title – Mancini

channels_television_mario_balotelli_roberto_manciniManchester City Manager Roberto Mancini did not mince words when giving his view of the EPL clash between his club and arch rivals Manchester united when he said the derby could be won by Manchester City and still not win the EPL title which will obviously go to United if his club misses it.

Man. City still stands to recoup their losses and claim the top spot on goal difference with two games left if they can frustrate United to give the much needed win in Etihad Stadium.

During a news conference, a more relaxed and joking Mancini was on ground to chat with reporters in a lighter mood which came as a surprise to many said his club has a more difficult task to achieve concerning the derby and winning the EPL this season and e thereafter tipped Manchester United his club’s arch-rival as favourites to carry the EPL title this season not minding the outcome of the derby slated for Monday.

Mancini his reasons are that United has more chance than his club as they would be playing two tough games and that is with Newcastle and QPR after meeting United on Monday while United will be seeing of Swansea and Sunderland to close the games for the season and that United will be having it easy to garner the much desired points to carry the EPL title.

He said further that all his players are off injury and with no problems at all except for his striker Balotelli who is in contention again after suspension ahead of the big match as he has not decided if he will be fielding the striker 48 hours to the game though.

On preparation for the big game, Manchester United is expected to move to Wales to flee from the pressure of the derby for a short training break for the weekend as United and City’s training complexes are next door to each other.

 

The game which was tagged as the derby game of all derby games by United’s Master planner Alex Ferguson as the pressure is the reigning champions and City Manager Mancini did agree to the saying of Ferguson also adding that they City has nothing to lose concerning the derby so they are not under any pressure at all.

 

Despite leading the Premier League for most of the season, City looked to have spoiled its title chances with patchy away form culminating in a loss at Arsenal earlier this month.

 

That defeat helped United take an eight-point lead in the standings, but the defending champion has stuttered with a 1-0 loss at Wigan and 4-4 draw against Everton to let City back into the race.

 

City supporters are not calm for now as they are unhappy for the closest of all chances was this season for the club to clinch their first league title since 1968 but Mancini has been and is still calm about it as City will be preparing for the big day come Monday.

 

Whatever happens, City’s status continues to rise thanks to the multi-million-pound investment from its Abu Dhabi-based owners, and the club’s points total at the end of the season will likely be enough to have won the title most years.

 

The Italian born coach admitted that he has so much respect for the club Manchester United because for him the club is the best club in England as they parade fantastic players.

 

He said that he is proud of Manchester City’s achievement this season and he expects that City supporters should be proud of that too even though Monday holds surprise for everyone.