Mario Barwuah Balotelli (born 12 August 1990) is an Italian footballer who plays as a striker for Manchester City and the Italian national team.
He started his professional football career at Lumezzane and only played for the first team twice before having an unsuccessful trial at FC Barcelona, and subsequently joining Internazionale in 2007. Roberto Mancini brought Balotelli into the first team but when Mancini left, Balotelli's disciplinary record fell away. He had a strained relationship with new head coach Jose Mourinho and was suspended from Inter's first team in January 2009 after a number of disciplinary problems. His problems deepened in March 2010 when he came under heavy criticism by Inter fans after he appeared on the Italian TV show Striscia la notizia wearing an A.C. Milan jersey. This damaged the prospect of him having a long career at Inter, but he did make several appearances after that.
With doubts over his career at Inter, former coach Roberto Mancini at Manchester City was keen to give Balotelli a fresh chance at a new club. He joined Manchester City in August 2010, where his performances and off-field activities have continued to be controversial and enigmatic. Balotelli earned his first cap for the Italian national team on 10 August 2010, in a friendly match against the Cote d'Ivoire.
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