|“||I am Italian, I feel Italian, I will forever play with the Italy national team.|
|“||"I am sorry for the situation that has been created recently. I am the first person who has suffered because I adore football and I want to play, and now I am waiting in silence so I can return to being useful to my team. I want to put the past behind me, look to the future and concentrate on the upcoming commitments and make myself ready."|
On 22 January 2012, Balotelli came on as a substitute during a match against Tottenham Hotspur. He appeared to stamp on Scott Parker during the match against Tottenham, but, already booked, did not get a second yellow from referee Howard Webb, who did not see the incident. Balotelli subsequently scored his first goal of 2012, an injury-time penalty which secured a 3–2 win for City. He was charged for violent conduct for the kick against Scott Parker and was suspended for four matches, three for violent conduct and one for his second sending off. On 25 February, he scored his tenth league goal of the season in a 3–0 home win against Blackburn Rovers. He scored again the following game in a 2–0 win against Bolton Wanderers. On 31 March, Balotelli scored twice as City drew 3–3 at home against Sunderland. However, Balotelli was criticized for his actions in the match after squabbling with Aleksandar Kolarov over a free kick. Roberto Mancini claimed after the game that he had considered substituting Balotelli just five minutes into the match. On 8 April 2012, Balotelli received his fourth red card of the season, after receiving his second yellow card during the match for a tackle against Bacary Sagna during City's 1–0 loss to Arsenal in April 2012. In the same match he had tackled Arsenal's Alex Song and there was speculation about a nine match suspension. However, one of the match officials saw the Song challenge and no action was taken, and according to FA regulations, no retrospective action can be taken if any of the match officials see the offence in question. He was banned for three games (one for the two yellow cards and two for the previous two red cards in the same season). After the Arsenal match, Mancini appeared to have finally lost his patience with Balotelli, suggesting that Balotelli would not play any part in the remainder of City's season and be sold by the club. Despite this, Balotelli did make an appearance as a late substitute in the last game of the season, a title-deciding match against Queens Park Rangers. Balotelli provided the assist to striker Sergio Agüero, who scored in the 94th minute to give City their first league title since 1968.Balotelli scored his first goal of the 2011–12 campaign in a 2–0 League Cup win against Birmingham City. He followed this up with the opening goal against Everton three days later. On 1 October 2011 he scored his third goal in as many games in a 4–0 win away to Blackburn Rovers. Balotelli scored the opening two goals and forced the dismissal of Jonny Evans as City beat Manchester United 6–1 at Old Trafford on 23 October 2011 in what would prove to be a decisive game in helping win Manchester City the league title. Balotelli made his Champions League debut for City on 2 November 2011, in the second leg against Villarreal. He scored on a penalty shot near the end of the first half, his first Champions League goal for City and his seventh goal overall in the season. On 27 November, Balotelli came on as a 65th minute substitute against Liverpool and was sent off after receiving two yellow cards. Balotelli scored using his right shoulder in City's 5–1 win over Norwich City on 3 December. He put City 1–0 up against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after just two minutes on 12 December, although Chelsea rallied to win 2–1.
On 29 January 2013, A.C. Milan's organising director Umberto Gandini announced that the team had agreed a deal to sign Balotelli from Manchester City on a four-and-a-half year deal rumoured to be worth €20 million plus bonuses and add-ons. Manchester City's manager Roberto Mancini suggested he had sanctioned Balotelli's sale to Milan for the good of the player, describing the forward as "like another one of my children" and saying Balotelli could become one of the best players in the world when restored to Serie A. On 31 January 2013, the Serie A giants completed the signing, and Balotelli was awarded the number 45 shirt, the same number he wore for Internazionale and Manchester City. Milan's vice-president, Adriano Galliani, said "Balotelli inRossoneri is a dream that has been realized. It is a transfer that everyone wanted: club, president and fans." Balotelli received a warm reception when he returned to Milan. His arrival saw some fans scuffling with police and one policeman was taken to hospital with head injuries. It has been stated that Silvio Berlusconi's signing of Balotelli will help him gain extra votes in the up and comming general election.
|“||This is even more exciting than making my debut in Serie A. The best birthday present I could receive now would be a call to join the Italy squad, although I'd be happy to play for the Under 21 team.||”|
UEFA Euro 2012
2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying
2013 FIFA Confederations Cup
Style of play
Personality, reputation and legacy
Balotelli has been the subject of numerous newspaper stories since joining Manchester City, some have been confirmed as true while others have turned out to be erroneous. Within days of joining Manchester City, Balotelli was involved in a car crash. It was reported that Balotelli was carrying £5,000 cash at the time – and that when a police officer asked why he had such a large sum of cash Balotelli replied: "Because I am rich". Off-field activities involving Balotelli have included driving into a women's prison in Italy to "have a look round", and throwing darts at a youth team player during a training ground 'prank' – all of which have been confirmed to be true. Balotelli has also been subjected to tabloid rumours about him confronting a bully in a school after querying why a young Manchester City fan wasn't attending classes, and giving £1,000 to a homeless man on the streets of Manchester, – allegations which subsequently turned out to be false. Since arriving in Manchester City, Balotelli has been involved in multiple instances of training ground disputes, clashing with team-mates Jérôme Boateng, Vincent Kompany, Aleksandar Kolarov, Micah Richards and manager Mancini. Video footage before City's Europa League clash with Dynamo Kiev in March 2011 showed Balotelli requiring assistance to put on a training bib, an incident which teammate Edin Džeko was seen mimicking the following week in the warm up before City's game at Chelsea. In September 2011, Balotelli was reportedly seen using his iPad whilst on the substitutes' bench for Italy during their game with the Faroe Islands, although he denied this on a visit to a prison later that week. In addition, Balotelli turned the garden of his Manchester home into a racetrack for quad bikes.Balotelli has been given a reputation by the media for being a difficult character and taking part in questionable and often amusing activities. He was once described by Jose Mourinho as "unmanageable." In June 2010, Balotelli and a group of friends fired air pistols in the open in Milan’s Piazza della Repubblica. Although denying that he is "crazy" as his mentor Roberto Mancini frequently claims, Balotelli has admitted that he "sometimes does strange things". In 2010, he was photographed in the company of two noted Mafia mobsters. Since joining Manchester City, Balotelli gained a cult following, particularly with Manchester City supporters regularly sing a song with lyrics which make reference to his activities. Musician Tinchy Stryder recorded a song in Balotelli's honour, Mario Balotelli.