“Super Mario” set to celebrate birthday in style.
AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli turns 23 on Monday, and the club have celebrated the milestone with a whole host of videos looking back at his first six months at the club.
The prolific marksman has responded well to being handed significantly extra responsibility since returning to Italy, becoming an integral part of projects for both club and country.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli revealed at his appointment back in 2010 that the former Inter starlet would represent the future of his national team, and Balotelli has not disappointed with his performances at Euro 2012 particularly catching the eye.
Perhaps still prone to the odd lapse in his temperament, he has both developed and mature since joining the club he supported as a child, and will undoubtedly play a vital role in the years to come.
Along with team-mate and compatriot Stephan El Shaarawy, the Rossoneri believe they have an attacking line-up that can represent club and country for the next decade, but it remains to be seen if the duo can convince their critics that they can co-exist.
Nevertheless, Balotelli will hope to build on his first few months at the club where he scored 12 goals in almost as many games, and having joined in January cup-tied after turning out for Manchester City, he will look forward to participating in the Champions League this season.