Milan striker Mario Balotelli spoke to goal.com about his decision to choose Italy over Ghana and the difficulties he’s facing in doing so.
Since choosing to represent Italy over Ghana, Mario Balotelli has made 33 appearances with the senior national team finding the back of the net 13 times. In addition, he’s played for Italy’s U-21 set up a further 16 times scoring 6 goals. Simply put, he’s always delivered the goods when called upon by his country. Even in the debacle of the 2014 World Cup, Super Mario found the back of the net.
However, the restrictions in place set by FIFA meant that despite being born and raised in Italy, Balotelli had to wait until he was 18 to represent the country due to his Ghanaian background. This is something that Balotelli has struggled to accept and is still disappointed by to this day.
After bursting onto the international scene, many expected Balotelli to be Italy’s answer to their striker woes. Following a fantastic Euro 2012, Balotelli emerged as the poster boy for Italy’s attack. His brace against Germany and his celebration will forever be at the back of Azzurri fans’ minds when thinking of Balotelli with Italy even if he doesn’t get another shot.
Today, however, the tune surrounding Balotelli is a different one. After moving to Liverpool, the former Inter man has struggled to play with any form of consistency and has since returned to Milan. While he started off the season strongly with the rossoneri, his form tailed off towards the end of the season. As a result, his future is once again uncertain and a number of potential destinations inclduing China and the MLS are being touted. Our very own Matthew Santangelo evaluated all possible moves for the misunderstood striker brilliantly in this piece.
While Balotelli’s future on the international stage is certainly at stake, the Milan man has strong opinions on the difficult decision and sacrifices he had to make as a young player. Here’s goal.com’s interview with Mario Balotelli.