I've played like a boy, now I must be a man: Mario Balotelli
Milan: Italian striker Mario Balotelli has vowed to grow up and conduct himself 'like a man' following his return to Serie A giants AC Milan from Liverpool Football Club.
The 25-year-old said he would learn from his mistakes and make the most of his second chance at AC Milan after ending a poor season in the English Premier League (EPL) with Liverpool to secure a return to his homeland.
Mario Balotelli. Pic/AFP
"I have played and lived as a boy. Now I will live and play as a man. I know that many do not believe in me, but I have a duty to try and to make sure I succeed," Balotelli was quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday.
"The past must be remembered to avoid making the same mistakes, but the future cannot be viewed through a rear view mirror. The time has come to turn a page and look forward. Things haven’t gone well. I have wasted several opportunities. But the game is not over, I still have a second chance,” he added.
After starting his career with city rivals Inter Milan, Balotelli hit 26 goals in 43 league appearances for AC Milan following a 2013 switch from EPL giants Manchester City.
However, he found the net just once in 16 EPL outings for Liverpool last season and was forced to train alone during the pre-season after coach Brendan Rodgers banished him from all first-team duties.
He is also yet to appear for his country since last year’s World Cup, but is hoping that a return to form at AC Milan would keep his Euro 2016 dream alive.
“I have to do well with Milan in order regain the Italy shirt. But right now I just have to work hard and take it one step at a time. If I can get things together then maybe I can make it to France,” Balotelli said.