Mario better off in Milan
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When Mario Balotelli came to blows with his manager Roberto Mancini at Manchester City's training ground, the volatile striker's fate was decided. The pictures of the bust-up went viral, and notwithstanding denials from the club, Balotelli had to go.
Mancini had tried everything to manage someone whom Mourinho — Balotelli's coach during his time at Inter - had described as "unmanageabl". He was lenient about his erratic form, and supported him through every controversy. But with the bust-up, a line was crossed.
Balotelli is lavishly gifted. He sparkled for Italy at Euro 2012, scoring against Ireland and twice against Germany in their 2-1 semifinal win. City fans will remember him for his 94th minute assist to Sergio Aguero to net the title-clinching goal last season. But such moments were rare, and his off-field indiscretions shone a harsher light on his on-field inconsistency. And the tabloids pounced gleefully whenever he slipped up. Going back home, therefore, might do Balotelli some good. Hopefully, the 22-year-old will realise his potential in the familiar surrounds of the San Siro. AC Milan have faith in him, as shown by the £22 million they shelled out for his transfer.
Among all of Balotelli's bosses, Italy manager Cesare Prandelli has perhaps been the most successful at harnessing his wayward genius. But a national team manager doesn't spend the entire season with his players. Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has a doubly difficult task.
Shamik is a senior staff writer based in Kolkata