After scoring a free kick to make the equalizing goal, Mario Balotelli turned to Cagliari Calcio fans and made a “provocative gesture” he is now paying the price for quite literally; he is facing a $13,678 fine for the incident. Not only will he pay the fine, but he is banned from the AC Milan match against Torino FC. Which is something, I’m sure, his teammates are not very happy about.
What the gesture in question was exactly is unknown, but unfortunately for Balotelli the referee did see him do it. He was booked for unsportsmanlike behavior which resulted in the fee and a one match ban. I just cannot seem to find a video — or even a detailed description — of the gesture, and I really wish I could assess if it were truly worth $13,678 and a missed match. However, Balotelli’s reputation leads me to believe that it is.
I don’t know how AC Milan staff and his teammates can put up with him. I agree whole-heartedly that he’s a fantastic player, but is he really worth the embarrassment of having such a outrageous character on its club? Italian National Team head coach, Cesare Prandelli seems to think so. He told reporters the following:
“Balotelli will learn. He will need a lot of love, he is a guy who we give a lot to and is important for Milan.”
Prandelli obviously knows Balotelli better than I do. If his national team can look past his theatrics then he must be doing something right. Still I can’t help but wonder if his teammates dislike him as much as the public does.