​Mancini warns: Balotelli could be the next Adriano

Italian manager worried about Balotelli’s career

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Since moving from City, it is safe to say Mario Balotelli hasn’t been very successful. He has spent two years in AC Milan, where many thought he would find his peace and joy, scoring 26 goals in 43 matches. However talented and good he was, his on and off-pitch behaviour was always what marked him unpredictable. In 2014, Balotelli moved to Liverpool, making 12 Premier League appearances and scoring no goals yet.

Italian manager Roberto Mancini, previously working with Balotelli in both Inter and Manchester City, admits he expected more from the Italy international at Anfield but at AC Milan too. The pair have won the English title together in 2011/12, but Balotelli has gone backwards from that point Mancini feels, admitting he could go the same way as Brazilian forward Adriano. He has seen enough of both of them to know just how difficult they can be to generate positive performances from.

Adriano was shining bright at Internazionale, scoring 47 goals in 115 appearances, before moving to Sao Paolo, and slipping off radar because of the drinking problems he developed along the way. Adriano moved to Flamengo, Roma, Corinthians, Flamengo again and Atletico Paranaense but playing no football, recently returning to European football at French side Le Havre.

Being afraid Balotelli could go the same path, Mancini said :

“It has all gone downward a bit since he left City. I thought he would do well at Milan, but it didn’t happen. Mario is at risk of following the same path as Adriano. I hope that he wakes up one morning and realises that he is wasting everything.”

Maybe not for the same reasons, but Balotelli and Adriano both couldn’t get their head straight thinking only of football. Adriano enjoyed productive spells in Italy with Parma and Inter, being considered one of the top talents of his generation, but just couldn’t stay out of trouble. Balotelli’s form is not promising at Liverpool, but does he have the strength to get back on track?

Mancini concluded :

“As a person, I feel a strong affection towards him. He is a good person, someone who acts with his heart. I think he's doing his very best at Liverpool. It's all up to him. He is still young, and he has the strength to get back up”

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    Senad Trtak
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