Here are some facts you need to know about Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli (Full Name – Mario Balotelli Barwuah) is an Italian striker born on 12 August 1990 in Palermo, Italy. His father’s name is Thomas Barwuah and mother is Rose Barwuah. He has a younger brother – Enock Barwuah and two sisters – Abigail Barwuah and Angel Barwuah.
Mario Balotelli’s family moved to Lombardy when Mario was 2 years old. They were poor and could not afford raising four kids. Later, he was adopted by Silvia and Francesco Balotelli who lived in the Italian town of Brescia.
The Balotelli family was rich and promised a very comfortable life for Mario. It was later found that his biological parents had opted for foster care because of an harmful illness that had affected him as a kid.
They couldn’t afford expensive treatments for Mario. The Balotelli family came ahead with support when Mario’s parents needed it the most. Despite health complications, Mario started playing football at an early age.
In 2001, Mario joined the youth club ‘AC Lumezzane.’ Playing gracefully for every youth teams of Lumezzane possible, he was finally promoted to the senior team of the club at the age of 15.
In April 2006, he made his senior debut for Lumezzane against Padova in a ‘Serie C1’ match. His passion took him to a trial with Barcelona, which was somehow uneventful. In 2006, he was signed by Inter Milan on loan.
In 2007, Mario Balotelli scored his first two goals in a Serie A match against Reggina. Inter Milan ended up winning the ‘Supercoppa Italiana’ in 2008 and the 2007–2008 Serie A.
In 2008, at the age of 18, he became the youngest-ever player to score in a UEFA Champions League. After Inter won the Serie A for the fourth time in a row, the racist chants by Juve fans were heavily condemned by both the teams. However, Juve fans were banned for a match.
Juventus fans chanted racist lines against Mario even when he was not on the field. In 2010, he appeared on an Italian TV show, wearing a t-shirt of AC Milan. The Inter fans were angry and tried to lay their hands on him once the game was over.
In August 2010, Mario was officially signed by Manchester City. He made his debut in UEFA Europa League match against Politehnica Timișoara and scored the winning goal. He then made his Premier League debut against Arsenal.
By the end of the year, he won the ‘Golden Boy’ award for his remarkable performance. Nevertheless, his aggressive behavior on the field caused a lot of trouble for him.
In 2013, AC Milan signed Mario and he ended up scoring 26 goals in his 43 appearances for the team. In 2014–2015 season, he signed with Liverpool and ended up scoring only one goal in his 16 appearances.
In 2016, ‘OGC Nice’ announced that they had signed Mario from Liverpool. He ended up scoring 29 goals in his 43 games for the team, and his contract was extended for one more year in June 2017.
Mario was not considered for the Italian ‘Under-15’ and ‘Under-17’ teams, as he was considered an immigrant. In September 2008, he made his international ‘Under-21’ debut for his national team and scored against Greece. He has represented his senior team in the 2013 ‘Confederations Cup’ and in the 2014 ‘FIFA World Cup.’
Awards & Achievemetns
- 1X PREMIER LEAGUE
- 1X UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
- 1X FA CUP
- 3X SERIE A
- 1X COPPA ITALIA
- 1X ITALIAN SUPER CUP
- 1X ITALIAN YOUTH CUP
In 2012, ‘GQ’ named him the second best-dressed man in the world. He was in a relationship with Raffaella Fico in the past, but it didn’t end well.
On December 5, 2012, Fico gave birth to her daughter, Pia. Mario got engaged to Belgian model Fanny Neguesha in March 2013. However, the couple parted ways in September 2014.