Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Silvio Berlusconi and the “bad apple” in his team

Wednesday, January 30, 2013. After being slammed as “bad apple” by AC Milan's owner Silvio Berlusconi only a couple of weeks before, footballer Mario Balotelli wears the red-and-black shirt for the first time.

Super Mario Balotelli and his blonde cockscomb
Super Mario Balotelli
Former striker of Inter Milan and Manchester City and Italian National football team's player Mario Balotelli is  travelling to Milan today, as hundreds of texts and tweets anticipated in the previous days.

A jubilant Barbara Berlusconi – member of AC Milan's board of directors and Silvio Berlusconi's daughter – declared to Italian news agency ANSA how the team could manage to make a major hit by acquiring from British football club Manchester City the talented Mario Balotelli, while her father – in mid January – said that the young striker was a “rotten apple” (alluding to the young talent's sometimes problematic behaviour) who could "infect any group or team, even AC Milan" and there was no interest in him.

Silvio Berlusconi says Balotelli is a "rotten apple" who "could infect any group"
Silvio: "Rotten apple"
In Silvio's words: "No one from my club has held any talks with him, and neither [Vice Executive President and CEO Adriano] Galliani nor I has identified him as a transfer target.". The AC Milan's management seemed also wary about spending 20 million euro (£17.2m or $27m) in order to sign the player of Ghanaian descent (here's the Mario's page on Wikipedia).

Well, in the world of football it is a widespread (and somehow understandable) practice to deny any interest in players when a negotiation is on course, but did Silvio Berlusconi really have the necessity to call Mario a “rotten apple” and say that he is prone to "infect" his team, only in order to apologise the day after?

Barbara Berlusconi says Balotelli is a major hit
Barbara: "Major hit"
Sometimes it looks like if the former prime minister of Italy just love to say things that well soon need any apology, perhaps in order to get exposure to the media twice: when he says something nasty or rude, and when he makes amends, playing good cop/bad cop all by himself. Have a look at Silvio's quotes, to get an idea...

Massimo Moratti - the president of AC Milan's derby rival Internazionale Milan - said to journalists that the signing of Mario "Bad Boy" Balotelli will be "useful to Berlusconi in many ways" hinting at  political motives. Forecasters state that the player's transfer might contribute to the former prime minister's People of Liberty party's polls with 2 percentage points in next month elections.

One's for sure: as you can see from the photo, Mario Balotelli's (commonly known as Super Mario, for his talent) hairstyle is not going to improve the “hair war” within the Italian football team (see our blog's article “Silvio Berlusconi and the cockscomb of the Pharaoh”).


Mario Balotelli on Vanity Fair magazine, wearing Italian flag
Mario Balotelli: is he worth 400,000 votes?