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Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli
Balotelli with Internazionale
Personal information
Full nameMario Barwuah Balotelli
Date of birth12 August 1990(age 26)
Place of birthPalermo, Italy
Height1.88 m
Playing positionStriker
Club information
Current clubManchester City

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Mario Barwuah Balotelli (-itˈmarjo baloˈtɛlli; born 12 August 1990) is an Italian footballer who plays as a striker for English team Manchester City and the Italian national team.

At the age of three he was fostered by Francesco and Silvia Balotelli after his parents asked social services for help with Mario because of their cramped living conditions. As Balotelli's reputation as a footballer grew his biological parents, the Burwuahs, asked for him back. Balotelli later said that his parents only wanted him back because he had become famous and described them as "glory hunters".

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. Balotelli had a strained relationship with new head coach José Mourinho and in January 2009 he was suspended from Inter's first team after a number of disciplinary problems. His problems deepened in March 2010 when he came under heavy criticism by the 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. He again caused controversy by throwing his Inter jersey on the floor when he was booed off by his own supporters in the UEFA Champions League semi-final tie with Barcelona.

Despite disciplinary problems he earned his first call-up for the Italian national football team for a friendly match against the Côte d'Ivoire after gaining Italian citizenship. He earned his first cap in that game, partnering Antonio Cassano and Amauri in attack.

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