Sunday, July 1, 2012

Who is Mario Balotelli?

Super Mario? Peter Pan? 21-year-old Italian born, Ghanaian Mario Balotelli.

New York Times - "Short-Fused and Explosive"

"One of two Italian players of African descent, he has endured racial abuse, monkey chants from Spanish fans, then more taunting chants from Croatian fans and a banana tossed onto the field."

"mercurial career"
"his artistic temperament not having undermined his artistic talent."

"Which Balotelli will show up against Spain? The one who scored twice against Germany? The one who seemed reluctant to shoot on a clear chance in the earlier match against Spain?
Will Balotelli act out as he has, stamping on opponents and dangerously kicking at their legs? Will he kick a goal post as he did after being thwarted repeatedly in the quarterfinals against England? Or will he steel himself for penalty kicks, as he also did in that match, shooting confidently, flexing his muscled arms in exultation?
Will it be a quiet and uneventful weekend, or will his hotel room catch on fire, as his house did last October after fireworks were set off in the bathroom?
Will he have a dispute with his coach? Will he have an allergic reaction to the grass and have to leave early, his face swollen, as happened here in a 2011 Europa League match with his English club team, Manchester City?
Will he be resolute or put-upon? Will he be the same player who cuffed a pass while sliding to the ground in May, assisting in Manchester City’s improbable comeback to win the Premier League? Or the one who raised his club jersey last fall to reveal the self-pitying message, “Why Always Me?”

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