Balotelli is probably the most enigmatic footballers of recent times, being able to inspire admiration & frustration in equal measure, both on or off the pitch.
He started his professional football career at Lumezzane and played for the first team twice before having an unsuccessful trial at Barcelona, and subsequently joining Inter Milan in 2007. Inter manager Roberto Mancini brought Balotelli into the first team, but when Mancini left, Balotelli's disciplinary record fell away. He had a strained relationship with new manager José Mourinho and was suspended from Inter's first team in January 2009 after a number of disciplinary problems. With doubts over his career at Inter, former coach Roberto Mancini had since moved to Manchester City and decided to give Balotelli a fresh chance at a new club. He joined Manchester City in August 2010, where his performances and off-field activities continued to be enigmatic and unpredictable. Balotelli eventually fell out of favour with Mancini after a "training ground bust up" between the two in January 2013. His departure from City and return to Italy with Milan followed several weeks later. After 18 months at Milan, he returned to the Premier League with Liverpool. An unsuccessful season with the Merseyside club led to his return to Milan on loan and subsequent departure on a free transfer to Ligue 1 side Nice where he scored31 goals in 66 appearances. After a spell with fellow French club Marseille in January 2019, he returned to Italy the following summer, joining Brescia. Balotelli earned his first cap for Italy in a friendly match against the Ivory Coast on 10 August 2010. He amassed over 30 caps and represented his country at UEFA Euro 2012, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup; he helped the national side reach the final of Euro 2012, and also won a bronze medal at the Confederations Cup.
It could be argued that Italian football is suffering the racism that afflicted the English game in 70s and 80s. Balotelli, like John Barnes & other black players who represented their national team, has suffered racist taunts from his own team’s fans. Such is the problem in Italy, and it must be added some East European countries, that in January 2013 during a “friendly” against Pro Patria, Kevin-Prince Boateng and several other Milan players walked off the pitch during the first half following racist abuse from a section of the crowd.
Handmade artwork printed in high resolution on premium white art paper. Prints are unframed.
All prints come numbered and signed by the artist, Bernard Kelly.