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Euro 2012: The players to look out for - Italy - Mario Balotelli
Balotelli started his career with Lumezzane who play in the third division of Italian football.
Balotelli had a trial with Barcelona when he was a teenager but was signed up by Inter Milan. Balotelli made his first team debut in December 2007 coming on as a substitute in a league game. He gained national awareness when he scored a brace against Juventus in the cup as Inter won the game 2-3 and progressed to the semi final.
He was a regular player in the Inter set up after 2008 but his controversial antics and feud with Jose Mourinho meant that fans grew frustrated and the best for Mario was a move away from the Serie A side. Balotelli signed for Manchester City for $22 million in 2010 and has shown in his two years in the Premier league he has unbelievable talent.
His antics and poor behaviour on the pitch has really halted Balotelli becoming a top footballer but at the age of 21 he has a lot of time to develop. In his two seasons at Manchester City Mario has 19 league goals in 40 appearances.
Balotelli made his international debut in 2010 against the Ivory Coast becoming the first black player to play for the Italian national team. Balotelli has only made 8 appearances for his country but he has the potential to fire Italy out of group c this summer as long as he can keep a cool head and focus on football.
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