Mario Balotelli loses his cool again; clashes with Berlusconi's TV crew
Temperamental Italian forward Mario Balotelli's temper is as famous as his game and gets as many headlines as his exploits on the field, and it was on display once more on Sunday after he clashed with a cameraman who got a little too close for comfort as Italy's squad arrived in Naples. The move is unusual even for Super Mario, since the camera crew works for Mediaset, which is owned by Silvio Berlusconi, president of Balotelli's club AC Milan.
When Italy arrived in Naples Sunday evening for their Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Armenia, Balotelli was reported by Sport Mediaset to have struck one of their television cameras and tried to knock it to the ground.
Balotelli seemed in an irritable mood Sunday morning when he posted a photograph of a headline in the Gazzetta dello Sport via Twitter: "Balotelli is ill, but will be there in Naples as a symbol against the Camorra."
"This is what you say! I am coming because football is wonderful and everyone should play it where they want, plus there's a game!!!!" he retorted.
Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Armenia will be preceded by a training session at a football pitch built on land confiscated from the Camorra - the Neapolitan Mafia.
Balotelli, who suffered from upset stomach those days, is apparently recovering as he scored a goal in Italy's game between ranks alongside Giuseppe Rossi upfront.
"Mario is feeling better," said Itlay head coach Cesare Prandelli.
Inter captain Javier Zanetti noted his former Inter teammate Balotelli is "a jazz musician" of football and needs to have a cool mind.
"I think he needs to find his balance and I hope he does. Mario has immense talent, but he needs to stay calm and do what he knows how to do," he said.
"We spoke many times and he listened, but he is one of those young people who will continue to make mistakes at his age. When you realize you've made a mistake, it helps you to grow."
"He is a jazz musician and that is certainly a quality, as he's one of those players who at any moment can bring out the winning move. He's good for Milan and especially for Italy, seeing as we are close to the World Cup," Zanetti said.