I struggled on where to start with this one. I was away this week, on a much needed disconnected vacation. Apart from the occasional mobile signal when we got into town I was devoid of Milan news, and then the inevitable happened! The sale of Mario Balotelli doesn't really come as a surprise to me. His performance's last season, or lack thereof, and his pestilent almost child like behavior at the World Cup made him a depreciating asset and while Milan has lost the ability to sell high, as they once did with Riccardo Kaka and Andriy Schevenchko, Balotelli will go more the way of Alexander Pato, sold a day late and a few million short.
As for my feelings about Mario, I have talked about here in a few places. The bottom line for me though is while I appreciate what he means to a Country and what he stands for, he no longer seemed capable of consistently backing that up on the pitch. A player of his strength and size should be terrorizing defenses, instead he is terrorizing Twitter!? What AC Milan needed right now is not a temperamental child who plays when he wants to; they needed someone to not only pick up the jersey but to pick up a shovel and help with the rebuilding process that this team so desperately needs. Mario Balotelli is not capable of that. He is a not a Leader, nor does he seem to make any bones about wanting to be one. Even his agent get's this and suggests that Mario doesn't need to change, or expectation of him needs to? REALLY!?
That quote really sent me through roof and makes it relatively easy for me to say good riddance. All that quote really says is that Mario Balotelli is not ready to grow up, not ready to be a role model, and not ready to lead a football Club. This team needs a Leader, but more importantly what they don't need is a distraction. While it would have been OK if Milan was rebuilding with the likes of Maldini and Gattuso still around, then the Balotelli side-show could have been kept in check but Milan's willingness to sell low was more of a purge then a sale, and while any normal rational human being would look at that and ask themselves why that happened...Mario Balotelli will do nothing of the sort.
To be clear Milan don't need Mario Balotelli, and while that may appear a harsh statement if you stop and think about, it couldn't be more true. Milan don't need his goals, they don't need his nonsense and they don't need his shirt sales. This Club is far beyond gone what a single "talent" like Balotelli brings. Mario is a great talking point, a guy who can be brought on, score a goal on occasion and then be put back on the shelf. He is not the guy that to attract life long fans and make a connection to the Club. He won't raise a generation of Milanista like Baresi, Maldini, Sheva and Kaka did, instead he is like a reality TV show you turn on to see what all the fuss is about and turn it off when you realize that 99% of the time it is nothing. The Club will move forward from this and will look at it three to five years from now as a blip on the radar. I will have moved on the same way Mario will move on from Liverpool FC or maybe even the next Club...