Muted reaction as happy Balotelli returns to Milan

MILAN • Liverpool misfit Mario Balotelli said he is ready to resurrect his career as he rejoined AC Milan on a season-long loan deal that has divided fans and pundits in Italy.

He joined Liverpool from Milan last summer but after a dismal season at Anfield, the controversial Italian striker has rejoined the seven-time European champions.

Milan have made the deal official on their website and after emerging from a medical check-up early yesterday morning, Balotelli told reporters: "I'm happy to be back. This club are in my heart and I always hoped to play here again.

"Physically, I'm in good condition, I just have to get training with the squad."

His failure to spark at Liverpool, scoring one league goal after a £16 million (S$35.2 million move), has also left his international career in tatters. He has yet to feature in any games for the Azzurri during qualifying for the 2016 European Championship in France next summer. Yet it remains to be seen if the 25-year-old, who has often been accused of wasting his playing talent, can resurrect his career this season.

Balotelli was feted by the vast majority of Milan fans when he joined the Rossoneri in 2013. But the striker's second spell at Milan is not being met with the same fervour.

Recent polls have shown an overwhelming majority of fans to be against his return to the club, while former Milan midfielder and pundit Zvonimir Boban called the club's decision to take the player on loan "totally absurd".


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2015, with the headline 'Muted reaction as happy Balotelli returns to Milan'. Print Edition | Subscribe