Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Thursday January 31 2013
Manchester City have confirmed that Italian international striker Mario Balotelli is now an AC Milan player signalling the end of an era in more ways than one...
22 year old Balotelli has signed a 4.5 year deal with The Rossoneri, his boyhood club, worth around £20 million to The Blues plus add ons. Effectively, City have all but recouped the outlay of £24 million paid to Inter Milan in August 2010.
That outlay registered 80 City appearances including 31 as a substitute, 30 goals and when it counted, key contributions that led to the realisation of three trophies visiting the City trophy cabinet in rapid succession. Of course, there was a whole lot more besides that you will find listed in great detail across the world's media today, especially in England by scurrilous hacks who demonised a young player repeatedly only for many to now bemoan his departure from English shores.
Only the likes of The Grauniad's Dan Taylor (currently banned from the swamp) and Das Daily Mail's Martin Samuel have shown any rationality or understanding of the Balotelli enigma whereas in point of fact, OBD, 'Obsessive Balotelli Disorder' reached epidemic proportions elsewhere, most notably BBC Match Of The Day's Liverpool arslikhan mafia who all of a sudden have got a lot less left to talk about where City are concerned.
Upon departure, in his own, rarely interviewed words, Balotelli said:
'I will remember my brilliant team-mates, the manager and all the supporters. They are the best, they were great with me and I will always have a very special place in my heart for City, it is a great club with a great future. I thank them for all of their support of me. Maybe one day we will see each other again. I think to win the Premier League was a very special moment, and I am proud to have been a part of that.
'I said goodbye to everyone at the meal in London before the game at Queens Park Rangers. It was very emotional for me. I spoke with Roberto before I went to speak to the players. We spoke for some time about lots of things. He was sad, and I was too. But it was a good conversation. I love Roberto, he has been very important for my career, and I will always thank him for having trust and faith in me.
'I will always be interested in Manchester City and their fortunes. I really hope that City can win the league again this year and beat United. I think there are great players at the Club and a great manager too. The club will be very successful in the future and that makes me happy.
'I love the fans at Manchester City. They are the best in England, maybe the world.'
Balotelli's medical in Milan was greeted by fireworks and police and fans going mental. I guess his 'homecoming' couldn't have gone any other way, but from one City fan who's written in alternate amazement and anguish about him across these past three stunning seasons I can only say of a player who still has everything he needs to become one of the world's best, but had become way too hot for the ever growing English champions to handle, thanks for the memories Mario and play misty for us in the San Siro.
I doubt our increasingly sanitised national game will ever see his likeness again.
all times East Manchester
Su 03Feb 16h00 Liverpool, The Etihad, PL
Sa 09Feb 17h30 Southampton, St Mary's, PL
Su 17Feb 14h00 Leeds United, The Etihad, FAC5
Su 24Feb 13h30 Chelsea, The Etihad, PL
Mo 04Mar 20h00 Aston Villa, Villa Park, PL
Sa 09Mar 15h00 Wigan, The Etihad, PL
Sa 16Mar 12h45 Everton, Goodison Park, PL
Sa 30Mar 15h00 Newcastle, The Etihad, PL
Date:Thursday January 31 2013
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