Mario Balotelli is finally finding his feet again in Ligue 1.
The Italian’s career has always been one which could have gone one of two ways.
Those who awarded him the prestigious Golden Boy award in 2010 must be baffled by his demise at Liverpool and AC Milan over the last couple of years or so.
Fear not, though, as super-agent Mino Raiola may have an explanation. Liverpool fans certainly deserve one.
It seems you just can’t keep Raiola out of the limelight. He’s become a particularly controversial figure over the summer, reportedly scooping £20million for himself for the Paul Pogba deal. Yet, sadly for him, he’s unlikely to ever engineer a similar move for Balotelli given his reputation.
“Balotelli has chosen, unconsciously or consciously, not to put football in the middle of his life. So there were always marginal phenomena that influenced his performance,” Raiola told the Financial Times, referring to the player’s romantic relationships.
Raiola also appears to admit that he perhaps shouldn’t have encouraged some of the moves Balotelli has made.
“A big mistake made in his career was to let him go from Manchester City to Milan, against my advice,” he added.
“I should have said, ‘You succeed with City, that’s it, period.’ If I’d done that, hard, he would have.”
Some of the striker’s best years came at the Etihad, and he played a key role when City lifted the Premier League in 2012.
However, whatever the specifics, Raiola is unfortunately spot on. Drama always seems to have followed Balo around, and it remains to be seen whether the can finally put it all behind him.