“Super Mario” addresses various topics in his past and present.
AC Milan and Italy striker Mario Balotelli has opened up in an interview with Sports Illustrated, addressing topics of racism, tabloid rumours and growing up in Italy.
The 23-year-old has become one of the most well-known individuals in world football over the past few years, and appears to have both matured and improved since returning to Italy in January with the club he supported as a child.
With responsibility for both club and country, the striker has responded in great fashion, and will look to help the Rossoneri achieve their objectives this season ahead of playing in the World Cup next summer.
However, speaking with Sports Illustrated, he has delivered a very honest and frank interview in which he addresses a number of key topics.
“Four years ago I came to New York, and nobody stopped me, nobody said anything,” he recalls. “Now people are stopping me, asking for my picture and an autograph.”
While he may have become more famous over the years for his actions both on and off the pitch, Balotelli is still affected by racism in Italy, but also revealed just how close he is to his adoptive parents with whom he shares a strong relationship.
“You can’t delete racism. It’s like a cigarette. You can’t stop smoking if you don’t want to, and you can’t stop racism if people don’t want to. But I’ll do everything I can to help.
“With all the sacrifice my parents made in the past for me, maybe I gave them a good emotion. They deserve it. I tell them everything. Without them I don’t know if I’d ever be a football player. Even if I do something special in football and I make a mistake as a person, they’re not happy. Because they want their son to be a man first, and then the best football player.”
Balotelli then proceeded to attempt to convince his mother to speak in English over the phone, but after she rejected the idea as she “doesn’t like interviews”, Balotelli giggled away before continuing with his own questions.
The former Manchester City striker was raised in Brescia by Francesco and Silvia Balotelli, and reveals that he hopes to return and live there after his playing days are over.
“Brescia is my home. It’s where I will live one day when I stop playing football. When I’m in Brescia, I’m relaxed,” he added.
However, both Milan and Azzurri supporters will be hoping that day doesn’t come any time soon as “Super Mario” continues to fascinate the world both on and off the pitch.
— AC Milan News (@Milanello) August 21, 2013