|One of Mario's controversial moments last season|
However, this contemplation is usually squashed by many optimists, as they realise the 20 year old Italian clearly has the talent and the heart (remember his donation to a homeless man outside a casino?) to become the best in the world if he put his head down. It's just a case of hoping he does this sooner, rather than later. So, is he a trouble causer or just simply misunderstood?
His recent comments about life in Manchester are sure not to help matters to prove he is simply misunderstood, with Balotelli saying that he is basically homesick and wants to go back home, even though he is happy at the club at the moment. Many people clearly misunderstood his comments, with many papers stating that "Mario wants to leave Manchester City" and that he is no longer interested in staying in Manchester. However, I believe that this helps to fuel the arguments that he is a misunderstood player. It is obviously not going to be easy for him to settle into a new country at only 20 years of age, and it doesn't help when everyone in the country slags you off constantly.
Of course he has created a lot of trouble for Manchester City last season, and some of his performances were questionable to say the least, but he has to be given a chance to bed himself in. If you delve deeper into the situation, he is just like any young person his age. He wants to have a good time, the only problem being is that he is always in the media spotlight. As much he likes this type of lifestyle, he might have to sacrifice it if he truly wants to become the world's greatest.
He is also misunderstood as a footballer, and perhaps even a bit controversial. He is a metaphor for why we love football, and always will be able to keep journalists in a job single handedly! Nowadays we seem to expect footballers to be very well behaved both on and off the pitch and be a role model to young children who love football. In an ideal world, we'd love this to be the case, but the fact is, it can't. Players like Mario Balotelli are freshening up the game, and his character just personifies what Manchester City are all about at the moment; we are different, and we are exciting.
I have no doubting Mario's abilities and as a footballer, I can see him being one of the greatest strikers in the world in a few years time, and it can only help that he has a father figure in Roberto Mancini keeping him in check.