Gino De Blasio – @ginodb
As far as debut appearances go, you couldn’t ask for more than Mario Balotelli’s last week. He replaces his teammate, Pazzini after suffering a hamstring strain in warm up. Within 30 seconds he nearly scores, after 20 minutes he does, and on the 94th minute he seals the win with a smoothly taken free kick.
Some could argue, “you couldn’t write it if you tried”, I’d argue “it’s textbook Mario!”.
But for all of his appearance, a great appearance, a man of the match appearance, why is the media so fixated on what he does off the pitch? Why was his night out after the match something that was reported on? How is a parking ticket a front page news story? I’m not sure, but somehow, because it is Mario, it just is.
I don’t get what all the fuss and clamour is over him. His press conference last week was a telltale sign that he can’t handle speculation more than what people think he can. His annoyance with The Sun newspaper was even more indicative of his time in England. A press intrusion which added to his misery on his stay here in the Premier League.
I’ve read a few great articles now about how Italian football owes it to Mario to make sure he doesn’t waste his talent, deep down inside, I think a lot of the football world doesn’t want to see that happen. But if that’s the case, then the media needs to do its part on not reporting so much what he does off it, and more of what he does on it.
And reporting should be factual, not libelous rubbish. Myths have been created for less, and Mario seemed to bring together the greatest hits to his repertoire, all of which, seem to be untrue. It may sell newspapers, but you have to wonder, is one man so interesting if you have to make this stuff up?
Mario, you’re 22, the world is literally at your feet. Enjoy yourself and have fun. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll learn from them. But please, dear Mario, don’t go buying any fireworks, that will be one news story that’s sure to change world history, or something equally as drastic.
What makes for more interesting reading? Mario on the park, or off it? Tweet us @talkingbaws or comment below. Watch out for Paul Boyle’s blog tomorrow.