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Thursday August 21 2014
Balotelli blunder will cost Milan

Selling Mario Balotelli to Liverpool is a move that makes no sense on several levels, writes Sam Lewis.

As Mario Balotelli exited Milanello in his Ferrari, it ended another episode in the drama series that has been the footballer’s career so far.

His expected departure to Liverpool for a fee believed to be around €20m will be yet another opportunity for the striker to prove that he can be a consistent striker for a top club.

However, it should not be a move to go through. For Balotelli, it could be wonderful opportunity to play in a supportive city that notoriously loves anti-heroes, and he would find himself in a much less hostile and less racially ignorant League. For the Rossoneri, however, it represents bad business from almost every angle you look at it.

Financially, Milan have made a loss on a player they signed for around €23m 17 months ago, when the player was leaving a side that had Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero on their books. The idea that the Diavolo, whose back-up striker is Giampaolo Pazzini, can receive less money for the 24-year-old than a side that didn’t really need him is absurd.

To compound the issue, he is being sold to a club that has just made €78m from selling Luis Suarez. Could Milan not have asked for more? David Luiz was sold by Chelsea, a side that didn’t play the Brazilian regularly, for €50m. Adriano Galliani, master negotiator, couldn’t squeeze €30m from a wealthy Premier League side? It’s another poor piece of business that has cast a once great club under unwanted scrutiny.

Since selling Andriy Shevchenko in 2006, the Rossoneri have gotten into a habit of selling their most marketable player at the soonest available opportunity. Ricardo Kaka followed in 2009, before Zlatan Ibrahimovic left and took Thiago Silva with him in 2012. Balotelli is just the next player to arrive in a flurry of PR and leave shortly after. Stephan El Shaarawy may want to move into a hotel, just in case.

On the pitch, it’s difficult to fathom too. The striker is comfortably the most talented player Milan had on their side, and who they would have heavily relied on in attempts to rescale the Serie A table and bring their side closer to a Champions League berth. Milan’s highest earner is now Philippe Mexes, a sad fact that illuminates the lack of world class ability that Coach Filippo Inzaghi can call upon. Even with Balotelli, Milan have several significant holes that needed to be filled before they can be considered as a Serie A contender. Without him, another gap in the squad is created.

Galliani now has two weeks to find a replacement for Balotelli, as well as maybe bring in the right-winger and midfielder Milan also needs to be considered competitive this upcoming season. Not only is it a tall order, it is one that is difficult to accomplish given the meagre financial compensation Balotelli’s sale looks likely to bring in.

His arrival at Milan saw him billed as the club’s star striker for the next decade. Alongside El Shaarawy, a fellow Rossoneri fan, the club had a front pairing of quality and popularity. That it took Mario under 18 months to decide that playing for the club he supported as a child wasn’t worth it is a revealing thought process.

The Diavolo’s decision to once again take the quick offer of cash over the chance to build something meaningful is yet another tough pill for fans to swallow. The club is now in an all too familiar state of rebuilding. Whether they are truly willing to so is another question entirely.

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Have your say...
I'm tired of hearing about racism + Balotelli. Wishing racism to end is like wishing for war and human conflict to end. We have to live with it, and minimize wherever possible. Balotelli needs to show resilience and stop using racism as an excuse. Ignore the racists and just play the game you love, drive away in your Ferrari, marry your model girl-friend, sign some autographs, get treated like a celebrity at restaurants and clubs, and drive on. Be resilient and stop using racism as a crutch.
on the 29th August, 2014 at 7:56pm
Goodbye Balotelli

Right so the team is balanced now. ok. So presumably you now think Milan's fortunes will rise and they will do far better this year all because Balotelli has gone. What a daft way to think. There are hundreds of variables. Losing Balotelli is not a good thing for your team. Don't mention trophies son, Juve have conquered Serie A and single handedly carried Serie A in its rapidly declining worldwide appeal. Juve have dominated Milan and the other teams and will do it again.
on the 27th August, 2014 at 12:52pm
This is a poor uninformed article. Balotelli showed at the world cup he has the talent but not the mentality to succeed at the highest level, let alone lead the line as Milan rebuild. How long do you think Inzaghi would tolerate Balo's lack of professionalism? Sam Lewis please stop blogging.
on the 26th August, 2014 at 10:54pm
@DOMINATOR
Milan won because there is finally SOME balance to the team- by balance I mean, 11 men working together NOT 10 men working and a stroppy little child walking about upfront. As for juve 'dominating' they didn't so what could have been means nothing in football, 2nd is the 1st loser my friend! DOMINATED IS PICKING UP THE TROPHY, which Milan did!
forza milan
on the 26th August, 2014 at 6:19pm
@milan fan
100% agree. Well said. Finally someone that gets it!!!

@GOODBYE BALOTELLI
Brilliant! Genius in fact! Funny how everyone seemed to miss that point. Hahaha careful BOSS might want to fight you too!
on the 26th August, 2014 at 6:13pm
Goodbye Balotelli

Milan didn't win because of balotelli not being on the team idiot. They won because Juve no longer have conte. If we had Conte Milan would have been dominated.
on the 26th August, 2014 at 12:55pm
I believe Milan made a smart move to sell Balotelli. Unfortunately, his poor world cup performance reduced his price tag and number of possible suitors. He's been a headache the entire time. He causes one drama after another, and yes, there is some racism against him - but a lot of the anger against him is because of his actions, not his race - but people like to throw racism around wildly. He does have the talent, but not the maturity or intelligence nor likely the aptitude to ever change.
on the 26th August, 2014 at 2:23am
Milan won the Tim cup on saturday. They officially won more in 1 day than they did in 18months with Mario Balotelli. Coincidence?
on the 25th August, 2014 at 10:43pm
I'm glad Balo is gone!

What started as a bang soon became a damp squib, most Milanista would dearly have loved to have kept him but his second season we got to see the whole side of him, ie the good bursts of play followed by some games where he clearly didnt give a monkeys!

By the end i was sick of his half assed attitude as he sulked around the pitch

Stephan will burn away any memories of Balo this season coming, Milan have truly gained with his departure, just watch
on the 25th August, 2014 at 8:16pm
@anon

It is NOT racist for someone to point out if they think a country has a racism problem. If you disagree is one thing, but try and make your points with some civility & validity rather than just spouting angry nonsense at them.

The simple truth, whether you'll admit it or not, is that Balotelli and others have, and still do, suffer from narrow-minded, racist abuse from fans in Italy (and elsewhere - Eastern Europe, for example). It has to stop; the human race should be past that by now.
on the 24th August, 2014 at 4:23pm
Director aka anonymous

It's you're *

Did you fail your GCSEs pal and that's why you're on here, grieving, venting your frustrations. Don't worry mate hang in there.
on the 24th August, 2014 at 3:50pm
Anonymous

You label balo as rubbish. He got most of your goals last season you fool. How many did your boyfriend SES and pazzini get? Exactly. The team revolved around him for Italy? I bet you weren't crying when he scored against England were you. Personally I don't think balo is as good as ppl want him to be. But he was deffo your best player. And hush your lip keyboard warrior you'd be polishing my boots in the ring
on the 24th August, 2014 at 3:49pm
Anonymous

Clearly you struggle with what racism means you dense rat. You slated Mario. You think he's average. You think his actions warrant the abuse he gets. If he's average and Milan's best player what does that say for the rest of your team. As for your notion that he deserves the abuse he gets it just highlights what a dipstick you are and why you clearly are reluctant to accept Italy, in Europe, is one of the more racist countries.
on the 24th August, 2014 at 3:44pm
BOSS YOU FIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!
on the 24th August, 2014 at 9:32am
@maldini heir- Racism works in all directions and if small minded idiots want to throw racism into everything then we may as well throw it in when people want to come on here and brand Italy racist! In Balo case it is solely that he has failed to live up to the billing, if you agree or not is up to you, but to shout racism is unjustified. You say haters talk about him- well you and BOSS seem to have issue with italian football- so I say don't watch it, watch EPL, no racism there... is there?
on the 24th August, 2014 at 9:30am
A lack of interesting players in the modern game and the downsides to 24 hour media because the reality is there's nothing to see here. I wish balotelli all the best. and hope he keeps improving at Liverpool. Insigne should also probably leave Italy to avoid further abuse
on the 24th August, 2014 at 1:45am
Now to balotelli's critics I've one simple question: if you don't rate then why do you talk about him so much? Either you think he's rubbish and then he's not worth talking about or like me and others you think he's done ok so far and could improve. That's really it. There's no other drama. In fact balotelli's given very little drama at milan. He never fell out with allegri, seedorf or Inzaghi and it was all quite boring. If balotelli counts as an interesting football character then it points to
on the 24th August, 2014 at 1:43am
I've haven't called balotelli's critics racist I've merely pointed out that in Italy he has suffered racist abuse. The first time I saw balotelli play was Italy v Nigeria in west ham. I remember Italy fans talking openly racist in front of Nigerian fans. They were oblivious. And it's not racist to say Italy has a problem racism. If you think it is then you don't know a thing about racism
on the 24th August, 2014 at 1:39am
Maldini's Heir always has something valid to say. And everything he said about the World Cup is 100% correct. Balotelli may be too lazy and too absurd sometimes but he is scapegoated. Even Prandelli did that with him and showed something a lot less than class in doing so.

Brendan Rodgers is the guy tho. If Liverpool utilize Lucas and sort out Skrtel (aka drop him) they will win the league. And this is a big reason why.
on the 23rd August, 2014 at 11:43pm
Balotelli is just an average player at best and thankfully he has always proved me and the millions that see straight through the Balotelli show rite! I don't blame him for world cup I blame prandelli for revolving a team around him. He needs special treatment which wastes time and money. Every club sent him packing and liverpool will do the same. The list of clubs that want him has become smaller and smaller- this isn't a colour issue just an average player punching above his weight- like BOSS
on the 23rd August, 2014 at 8:04pm
@BOSS
Shut up you racist little boy! I hear chants all over Europe. You want to brand by nation because a 'character' wants to hold a gun to a camera and because a 'character' isn't as good as the hype made out he would be! His own agent says that liverpools his last chance to actually do something! The guys rubbish simple as that!
nothing would please me more than to step into the ring with such an arrogant racist fool like yourself! No one on hear spoke of his skin- just you! Remember that!
on the 23rd August, 2014 at 7:48pm
Anonymous

Does your simple mind not recall what happened to boateng when he walked off the pitch. Thuram commented on the racism in Italy. And you think it's ok for a player racially abused to carry on taking it. When was balo racially abused in the EPL? He wasn't because most other countries are far ahead of Italy hence why the joke clubs can't do anything in Europe and fans act like Neanderthals.

As for you standing in a ring with me, you'd be on the floor within a round. Now sit down boy.
on the 23rd August, 2014 at 3:53pm
Anonymous

It's a website dedicated to Italian football, of course I'm going to be talking about Italy you silly fool. Are you that incompetent that you can't derive from my comments that I was saying there is a lot of racism in football and when you see your peers vote in a racist president what message does that send to you about your country. So what if balo is a character, he was your best player. You don't need to live in Italy to hear the chants in serie a you mug.
on the 23rd August, 2014 at 3:48pm
@boss
Abuse?? I'm sorry but if you act like an idiot you will get publicity. Pointing a gun at a camera? Fire works I buildings? Fighting with his managers? Lazy? Diving? Strolls around blaming everyone that he doesn't score? DOES THIS SOUND LIKE THE PUBLICITY ('abuse' as you put it) IS WRONG? why does Ogbonna/okaka have no problems? Balotelli gets what he gets because he is mental. I would gladly stand in a ring with anyone that wants to belittle italy! Especially a racist like yourself!
on the 23rd August, 2014 at 1:47pm
@boss
Wooooow hold back everyone BOSS talks to italians, well look at you you clever sausage you!
I lived in italy and I am italian! Think I am in a better place than you to talk about my fellow italians than some idiotic blogger who clearly understands nothing about italian life and football. The only racist person here is you- everytime I read you're rubbish it's always against italians!
on the 23rd August, 2014 at 1:34pm
Anonymous

You're one of those stupid fools that watches the World Cup now thinks he knows something about football.

Milan are garbage you idiot. They just sold their best player. So what tavechio said you don't think is racist? I've had the benefit of talking to Italians and even they say how corrupt and racist the country is. And you think balo should tolerate it? Get in a sparring session with me in the ring lets see how long you can tolerate sustained abuse before you go running fool.
on the 23rd August, 2014 at 10:49am
If Galliani wants players for free to take over Balos position then maybe he should slip on some boots & take up that position himself? I mean how bad could he be? Just like when politicians are in power too long the same does for football owners & managers. They think they can do no wrong. They need a revolution at the San Siro & get rid of those 2 Neanderthals. I can see tifosi problems @ Milan this season but it will be the only way for change.
on the 23rd August, 2014 at 9:16am
Rosario haven't you heard? It's perfectly ok all over Europe to abuse Italians. Negatively stereotyping anyone else get's you fined or sent to jail, but us Italians... yep we just have to take it.
on the 23rd August, 2014 at 5:51am
How unsurprising is it to hear, now, that Galliani is looking in the direction of Eto'o, a 33 year old free agent, as Balo's replacement? Absolutely disgusting. Milan's transfer policy seems to be beyond fixing, at this point; at least as long as Adriano and Silvio are still running the show. I'm awaiting, with incredible trepidation, the day they decide to cash in on ElSha and De Sciglio.
on the 22nd August, 2014 at 11:53pm
I'm sorry but I feel I have to comment on your "Milan: Torres or Eto'o for Balotelli?" article. 6th paragraph is just a testament to what I've thought for years about football-italia.net and its various predecessors...completely anti milan and essentially pro inter...much like the televised version on channel 4 all those years ago
on the 22nd August, 2014 at 11:26pm

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