Mario Balotelli has not made a lot of friends since leaving Inter Milan for Manchester City this summer. His comments after being named the best young player in Europe will do nothing to add to his reputation as the most egotistical player in football.
Balotelli was named the Golden Boy winner, which is organised by Italian newspaper Tuttosport and voted for by journalists across Europe to recognise the most talented player Under 21. It is a very prestigious award. Previous winners have included Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas and Rafael van der Vaart. Arsenal youngster Jack Wilsheree came in second and Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David de Gea came in third.
Balotelli obviously does not spend much time watching Premier League football as he had no idea who Wilshere was saying:
“What’s his name? Wil…? No, I just don’t know him, but the next time I play against Arsenal I’ll try to be careful. Maybe I could show him the Golden Boy trophy and remind him that I won.”
Balotelli continued saying:
“There’s only one that is a little stronger than me: Messi,” he said of former Golden Boys. “All the others behind me. I am delighted to receive the award, but who else would have won if not me? Two years ago I finished sixth and then fourth in 2009. Now it’s my turn, no? My goal is, in the near future, to turn this award into the Ballon d’Or, without any age limits. Winning the Golden Boy is certainly a good omen.”
So far this season at Man City, Balotelli has appeared in 9 games, scoring 5 goals and picking up 5 cards (4 yellow and 1 red).
Balotelli has been called the best talent that Italy has produced in a generation. He has the potential to be brilliant. But his ego gets ahead of him at times, and that caused him problems with Jose Mourinho and Inter last season. It remains to be seen whether Mancini can keep Balotelli’s ego under control at Man city.