It’s not exactly new that Mario Balotelli is an emotional guy, but seeing Mario Balotelli reduced to tears after he was sent to the bench by Clarence Seedorf as AC Milan lost to Napoli 3-1 is quite perplexing.
Balotelli was substituted in the 73rd minute by Giampaolo Pazzini as Napoli were already in the lead. He put the coat over his face and when he took it off, his eyes looked red and watery. He then put the coat on his face some more, trying to hide the tears everyone knew were coming out.
So what made him cry? A few things come to mind, or maybe it’s everything together.
Remember the first match between the team? Balotelli missed a penalty kick for the first time in his career, and got a red card after the final whistle. Revenge, probably, was strong on his mind, but Milan managed to ruin an opener by newcomer Adel Taarabt pretty quickly, and Balotelli himself was very poor throughout the match, including missing a great chance in the second half that could have made it a 2-2 game.
He never likes being substituted which means that it was probably the trigger, but there are also off the pitch reasons – Balotelli found out he has a daughter with his ex who lives in Napoli, and this weekend was probably the first time he has gotten to see her, although the story is slightly more complicated and even mysterious than that, like everything that has to do with Balotelli.
Maybe it was the disgusting racism showered on him from the stands, but there’s nothing new in that when it comes to games in the Serie A.
And in Milan’s situation, which is being 10th in the Serie A, 18 points below the place that leads them into the Champions League, there’s plenty of reasons to be crying.