It would seem that Roberto Mancini’s recent comments suggesting Mario Balotelli could be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi have fallen on deaf ears. Balotelli seems to be up to his old tricks again with Pablo Zabaleta stating that sometimes he feels the urge to kill the Italian for his crazy antics.
Deep down we all love Balotelli as neutrals because he’s brilliant entertainment. One moment he setting off fireworks in his own bathroom and the next he’s whipping out a witty t-shirt comment after scoring a brilliant goal in the Manchester derby.
Take Zabaleta’s comments for what they are which is a bit of a joke, a bit of a mess around but it’s easy to see how Balotelli can get under the skin of various individuals. Zabaleta also states that Balotelli can be a great player but it seems he’s going to permanently have an ego which will hold him back and does he care? Probably not.
“He is a player, a person too, who is very difficult to understand because you never know what he is going to come up with next. As a player, sometimes not all you have in the feet you have in the head, and Mario is a character that, as a team-mate, sometimes you laugh at what he does and sometimes you want to kill him,” said Zabaleta as reported in the Daily Mail.
It doesn’t really look like he is going to change any time soon. Roberto Mancini is reluctant to pick the Italian front man at the moment because he, and the club, are under pressure and he obviously doesn’t trust Balotelli to help the club or himself out of the current situation.
It is encouraging that most of the City players take his behaviour with good humour because very few would have blamed Mancini if he’d moved the striker on some time ago. It’s doubtful that Sir Alex Ferguson would have put up with his behaviour for this long, he may have even gift wrapped the striker and all of his external baggage and personally delivered him to the front door of Manchester United’s main rivals.
There are no doubt others in the City squad who feel the same way as Zabaleta but there are also going to be members of the team who start to resent Balotelli for the way he behaves, the ridiculous amount of money he gets paid and the lethargic way he can sometimes play in the middle of games if he ‘isn’t up for it’.
Of course no one is going to ‘kill him’ but that deep and entrenched resentment which could potentially be created is dangerous and could cost City for all the time that Balotelli is at the club.
image: © praguegallagher