Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Defiant Balotelli vows to resist detractors

23 September 2015, 14:18

Milan - "Changed" AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has pledged to continue defying crunching tackles on the pitch and taunts from rival fans off it after hitting his first goal for the Rossoneri since returning to the club.

"They will take my legs and yellow cards, but they won't get the ball from me," Balotelli said after Tuesday's 3-2 win against Udinese.

On what was his first start for Milan since returning to the club on loan from Liverpool, Balotelli struck a superb fifth-minute free kick.

It was his first start in an any official league game since April 28 when Liverpool faced Hull City, and his first goal for Milan since April, 2014, when he found the net against Livorno.

Milan's third win of the season fired Sinisa Mihajlovic's side up to fourth in the Serie A table ahead of the rest of the midweek fixtures on Wednesday and Thursday -- a welcome boost that came amid a social media mini-storm in which fans compared Milan's garish green and yellow away strip to the one worn by Jamaica's national side.

Despite being cautioned for a late challenge on Udinese midfielder Bruno Fernandes, for the rest of the encounter the 25-year-old Balotelli showed his growing maturity, soaking up abuse from home fans and a number of late challenges.

Known for his extravagant haircuts, wayward behaviour and an attitude that many pundits have described as "arrogant', Balotelli was forced to agree to a strict code of conduct before being able to re-sign for the seven-time European champions last month.

So far, club bosses have been impressed with his efforts. Despite having his driving licence suspended two weeks ago for driving his Lamborghini at 90km/h in a 50km/h zone, Mihajlovic believes Balotelli is not the impetuous, wild youngster he's often cast as in the media.

"He's shown that the real Balotelli is back. He was calm and showed he knows how to handle attempts to provoke him," said Mihajlovic, who took over from Filippo Inzaghi in the summer.

"He made the difference for us, but he has to continue like this because it's only the beginning."

Balotelli's detractors are less likely to be convinced -- at least not yet.

During a turbulent three-year spell at Manchester City, Balotelli regularly courted controversy on and off the pitch, famously falling out with City's then manager Roberto Mancini before signing for Milan in January 2013.

But club CEO Adriano Galliani insisted: "He's a changed man compared to before."

If Balotelli is to save his career, both at club and international level, impeccable behaviour will be required throughout this season.

The striker, and the entire Italy team failed to impress at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and his subsequent disaster at Liverpool dropped him down the Azzurri pecking order behind the likes of Southampton striker Graziano Pelle.

Balotelli hopes to be reconsidered for selection to the Italian national team ahead of next summer's European Championships, and Monday's performance suggested he was on the right track.

"For me it was a difficult game because I knew I'd be provoked," he said.

"I'm happy with how I played, little by little I'm returning to form, and soon I will be able to silence the people who have been criticising me."

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Types of men that are a waste of ...

Most women end up heartbroken because they were trying to convince the wrong man to be in a relationship/ marriage. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Cheating is hardwork!

Cheating, although enjoyable by the person doing it initially, it gets to a point they start realizing that it was never even worth it. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Dating that one person that socie...

Works at a massage parlour. Works at Millionaires Club (that one on Baricho road) - you know the ones I am talking about. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM rebels sweat in Kisii as Oran...

ODM rebels are sweating in Kisii after the Orange Party won by elections despite concerted efforts by the ruling Jubilee Party to win the elections. Read more...