From his Inter debut to a fight at training, Balotelli’s history with Mancini

by | Jan 24, 2022 19:06

Roberto Mancini has handed Mario Balotelli his first Azzurri call up in over three years, continuing their long and chequered relationship together.

The Italian coach has had an undeniable impact on Balotelli’s life and career, starting with his debut back in December 2007 in a league match against Cagliari. The then-teenager featured in a cup match against Reggina three days later, scoring a brace and earning Mancini’s trust. This trust was repaid a month later, when Balotelli again scored a brace as Inter beat Juventus 3-2.

Mancini left Inter at the end of that season, but a special bond had started to develop between the pair. Two years later, they were reunited at Manchester City, where they found success, but not without a little controversy.

At a party in 2011, Balotelli set off fireworks inside his house, causing over €400,000 in damages. Later that year, a furious Mancini immediately substituted the Italian forward after his disrespectful failed trick shot in a pre-season friendly. Most controversially, however, was when they came to blows during a training session in 2013.

Balotelli and Mancini had to be pulled apart after a furious confrontation between the pair, with the two men grappling after disagreements regarding a challenge on a teammate during the training session. The young forward left Manchester for Milan at the end of that month, ending their working relationship together for the next five years.

Mancini made the shock decision to call up Balotelli when he became Italy coach back in 2018, calling up the forward for a few friendlies and one Nations League match. These were Balotelli’s first Azzurri appearances in almost four years, and now the Italian coach has repeated this gesture, calling him up for this week’s training camp in Coverciano.

Roberto Mancini Mario Balotelli


  1. Andy

    Relying on a washed up never-has-been … boy are Italy out of ideas

  2. sebbyde

    I love this. I hope it works out


    Sorry Andy, but if Balo is playing well, then he should be called up. He has always given 100% for Italy. Yes, he has played a few games not so good for Italy but all in all he has done pretty well. I like Balo, and I believe in giving any player the chance to be called up so lets give him the benefit of the doubt. He who is without error, cast the first stone and guess what no one would.

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