So we have had the Ballon D’or ceremony for this year, and some very unsurprising results that hailed from it – Messi and Guardiola took the big honours and most felt they were thoroughly deserved. So, instead of analysing why both won, and who may have had a better claim to the crown I am going to write about something else entirely.
When looking at the candidates stood on the stage in Zurich, one thing struck me- give a certain player we now have in the Premier League three, maybe four years, and he will be stood on that stage with more than a shout at winning the big prize.
Any ideas who I am referring to yet? It may not be the most obvious player – it is indeed a striker and at this point Aguero or maybe even Van Persie’s name will be mooted, but no it is neither of the above. It is in fact a 21 year old who plays his trade for Manchester City, and makes just as many headlines off the field as he does on it.
You have guessed it – I am talking about Mad Mario – and yes you may initially laugh at this suggestion, and I don’t blame you. For a boy more famous for his antics on bonfire night, with various women and his parking fines, Mario possesses a huge amount of raw talent which more often than not goes overlooked because of the circus that is becoming his life – in fact google Mario Balotelli and you do not even get his Manchester City profile let alone stats until the second page of results due to the sheer amount of tabloid fodder he has been the source of.
Having seen the player first hand on more than one occasion, I am afraid – for the first and last time in my life – I am going to have to disagree with the Special One, who labelled Balotelli ‘unmanageable’ when they were both at Inter together.
Well sorry Jose, but Balotelli is far from this, and Mancini is proving how wrong Mourinho was when making this comment. His form on the field this year has been prolific, and he has basically become City’s starting striker – one whom they have missed a great deal in the couple of games he has missed through injury – and despite not feeling the love for England and the Premier League, we certainly love him, and with his pace, aerial ability and physicality Balotelli is made for the Premier League, and would quite frankly be wasted in Italy.
With eight goals in 14 games already this season, not to mention his overall play and attitude, it is not a shock that Mancini overlooks certain unsavoury factors about the player – his smoking for one – yet think of the level that Ronaldo was at when he was 21 or during his time at United. It took until his very last season for the player to show what we are seeing now on a weekly basis and the world class ability that he has.
Balotelli has the time to mature and develop his game, and only looks set to get better, with Mancini stating that ‘he is becoming better and better, taking on more responsibility for the team’ and is adjusting to the Premier League with ease.
For a player who has scored nearly 50 professional goals in his short career, not to mention winning 7 major trophies including the Champions League, Balotelli has so much more to give and his potential is limitless. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to see the T-shirt he would unveil if he did win the Ballon d’Or in a few years’ time – that is if he doesn’t blow himself up first!
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