Mario Balotelli was once again in the headlines on Tuesday night, but this time for all the right reasons. The on-loan AC Milan striker scored a superb free-kick 5 minutes into their league game against Udinese for his first goal of the season.
After a truly torrid time last season after signing for Liverpool from his current team Milan, Balotelli is determined to make amends this time round and aims to silence his critics with a good showing this campaign. “I am slowly getting my revenge. Everybody in England and Italy have done nothing but criticise Mario Balotelli in recent years. But I worked hard for the team again, like I always do. It was a tough game, because my opponents were out to provoke me,” the Italian said after the game.
With a European Championship campaign edging ever closer next summer, there is no better incentive for the striker to rediscover the form that yielded 30 goals in all competitions during his previous two seasons at the San Siro and force his way back into the national team frame. Despite not being involved with the Italian national team of late, Italian manager Antonio Conte has said that the door is open for Balotelli if he shows promising form and a good attitude.
As well as Balotelli, AC Milan also seem to be on the up and after last night’s 3-2 away at Udinese, they now sit in 4th position in the Serie A standings on the back of their third league win of the season. Despite getting the three points, AC Milan didn’t have it all their own way after a dominant start which saw them 3-0 up at half-time. The second half saw Udinese come out all guns blazing and two goals in quick succession meant a nervy final 30 minutes for Milan, but after soaking up intense pressure from the hosts, the Rosseneri held on for the win.
It’s hard to tell what the future holds for Mario Balotelli and whether he can worm his way back into the Liverpool reckoning come the end of the season, but one thing is for sure, with the right attitude and goal scoring performances like last night, then it won’t do his chances any harm.