Mario Balotelli is usually so clinical from the penalty spot but he made a mess of things during AC Milan’s 3-3 draw against Frosinone.
Trailing 2-0, Milan won a penalty in the 47th minute. If Milan manager Cristiano Brocchi could have picked any player on the planet to take the resulting spot-kick, he probably would have said Balotelli.
But the Italian missed from 12 yards, his effort saved by Frosinone goalkeeper Francesco Bardi. Scroll down to watch Balotelli’s miss.
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And that wasn’t even the most noteworthy part of the story. Milan’s chief executive, Adriano Galliani, has revealed that Balotelli later phoned him to apologise for missing the penalty.
And Galliani took Balotelli’s phone call as a clear sign that he is a changed man.
Galliani said, per The Guardian: "To give you an idea of how much Balotelli has changed, I’ll tell you that, 15 or 20 minutes after the game he called me and apologised for having missed the penalty. He was unlucky, he missed the penalty and hit the bar in the 94th minute.”
The striker, on-loan at the San Siro from Liverpool, has a habit of making headlines for all the wrong reasons. From being photographed with Mafia bosses to being fined £300,000 for throwing darts at a Manchester City youth player, Roberto Mancini was right when he called Balotelli “crazy”.
The phone call could be seen as a plea to Galliani to keep Balotelli at the club. He hasn’t failed to hide his desire to stay in Italy but it’s unclear yet whether Milan want to turn his temporary stay into a permanent one.
His return of three goals in 21 appearances doesn’t help his cause, but La Gazzetta dello Sport (per the Mirror) reported last week that the Rossoneri are keen to strike a permanent deal with Liverpool.
Their report contrasts Galliani’s admission that Milan want to see more from the striker before they offer him a contract.
Galliani told reporters, per Sky Sports: “We really like Mario, but he has to convince us to earn a permanent deal.
“Mario is feeling well. He is desperate to stay here at Milan. But like I have said before, he does not merit a permanent deal at the moment.”
The Guardian claimed that Balotelli isn’t a part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans at Liverpool, which comes as no real surprise.
Divock Origi is showing signs of being a top striker, while Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings provide worthy competition to start up front for the Reds.
Most important, however, is that all three can be relied upon to work hard and not cause too much controversy.
And Balotelli doesn’t want Liverpool, either.
“When it comes to my future I want to stay with Milan because I wasn’t happy at Liverpool and I don’t want to return there,” he recently said, per The Guardian.
“And plus, Milan has the money. I feel in good shape physically at last and am relaxed.”