Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli’s father Thomas Barwuah has revealed that the player regrets selecting Italy ahead of Ghana as his national football team.
The controversial player is currently on loan at AC Milan, after failing to break into the Liverpool first team regularly last season. He will return to the English Premier League, but it’s expected that manager Jurgen Klopp will look to transfer him in the summer.
Even though Balotelli was born in Italy, he was also able to represent the Black Stars because of his parents who moved to Palermo from Ghana.
The 25-year-old wasn’t brought up by his parents, but in a foster home by Silvia and Francesco Balotelli who helped him complete his Italian citizenship.
Balotelli was called up by Ghana in 2007, but started out representing Italy U23 before moving to the senior team.
The player has received criticism wherever he’s moved to from Inter Milan to Manchester City, AC Milan and Liverpool. This was typical of his early years when his maturity was questioned but it has improved since moving to Liverpool, though his quality on the field hasn’t stacked up.
Balotelli’s biggest problem has been the racism he receives back in Italy, which has led to his regrets.
“Balotelli has started realising he made a big mistake playing for the Italian national team and has told friends about it”, Barwuah told GazzettaGhana.
“He is not being treated well [and] truly, they don’t show him the love he deserves for his great talent and skills. I think that all he gets is abuse, especially from the media here [in Italy] and that is because he is black.”
In 2012 Balotelli starred for Italy at the Euro Cup, taking them to runners up spot, memorably scoring twice against Germany in the semi-final. At the 2014 Fifa World Cup he scored the winner for Italy against England but they failed to get through to the group stage, and had taken much of that criticism on his shoulders.
Since then he’s struggled to get back into the team.
“They don’t like him and it started from the beginning. They didn’t want to see a black boy like himself taking glory of the Italy national team,” he added.