Is Mario Balotelli Going Down the Same Road As Antonio Cassano?

By Riccardo Di Julio
Mario Balotelli & Antonio Cassano
Picture provided by the FIGC Official Facebook page

Being both recognized as the very last representations of bad boys in Italian soccer, Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano appear to have many things in common. Many argue, in fact, that AC Milan striker is just following the same path already driven by the 31-year-old in over 10 years of professional career.

Essentially, the similarities among the two are quite evident: an extremely valuable set of skills and talent combined with a poor sense of discipline, both on and off the field. Even more, considering their rebellious characters, it is not surprising to notice the interpersonal struggles they both continuously have with every single team they have ever played for.

In the case of Parma‘s striker, for example, the story has always been the same anywhere he has been. All of his adventures have been characterized by a promising beginning that has rapidly been cancelled out for his attitude problems, including the one of the Nazionale which he has only been a sporadic member to the extent of having never had the honor of representing it in a World Cup.

For the 23-year-old, the situation appears to be pretty much the same, with the only exception that he will very probably play in the upcoming World Cup in Brazil. However, just like for Cassano, Balotelli is also generally more recognized for his actions off the field than on it.

In addition, contrary to other controversial figures of Italian soccer, what makes Fantantonio and Super Mario so unique is the way they are treated by their professional peers. In short, the media could really make controversy out of anyone. For this reason, it is not a major problem to be constantly attacked by the journalists as they are.

On the contrary, what is really important is the way the other players and coaches think of them. And in this case, the situation for the two talents is quite precarious as they are both generally not defended by their peers. The last example came from the legendary figure of Alessandro Costacurta in regard of Balotelli, who “is not a world class player and will never become one.”

On the other hand, when such peers are to talk about players such as Daniele De Rossi, Francesco Totti and Christian Vieri, they do tend to significantly defend them, despite the fact that media sometimes might label them negatively. Nonetheless, as rebels, Balotelli and Cassano helped Italy reach a European Championship final. Imagine how far they could have reached if they had better behaviors.

Riccardo Di Julio is a Soccer Contributor for Follow him on Twitter @Italcatenaccio and add him to your network on Google.

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