Mario Balotelli: “I came to Sion to win something”
Bob and black t-shirt for a striking contrast with the Italian suit worn by his sports director at his side: Mario Balotelli did not miss his entry into the particular world of FC Sion, this Thursday.
“I came to Zion to win something. It’s been too long since I won anything”: the first words of the Italian testify to his state of mind. Super Mario is not at 32 a player in pre-retirement. “I have set myself personal and collective goals,” he continues. And he does not intend to waste time. The defector from Adana thus trained for the first time with the team on Thursday morning. He says he is ready to play Saturday against Basel at Tourbillon. “Not from the kick-off, but surely for an entry into play”, he slips.
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Coming to Sion, “as an evidence”
The first contacts between the player and the Constantin family date back to June 29. “I liked their approach. Very quickly, signing for Sion seemed obvious to me, ”explains Mario Balotelli. The sweetness of life that he will find in Valais also played a role. Geography too. “I have a son in Brescia and a daughter who lives in Zurich. With this contract in Sion, I am closer to my family. Moreover, Switzerland is a country where people are allowed to live better than elsewhere. That counted too.”
Before committing, Super Mario took information from Gennaro Gattuso who had had a turbulent experience in Sion during the 2012/2013 season. “Gennaro told me that the good of the club, he lets go. That I had to seize the opportunity if the possibility of signing for Sion could be offered. He only warned me that the winter in Valais will be harsh for someone like me who doesn’t like the cold too much…”
“It will not be easy, but we will try”
If the name of FC Sion is not unknown to him, Mario Balotelli admits to ignoring practically everything about the Super League. The presence of an Italian coach – Paolo Tramezzani – and his former Nice team-mate Wylan Cyprien will undoubtedly facilitate both his integration into the team and the discovery of this new championship.
Although they have not been publicly revealed, Christian and Barthélémy Constantin’s objectives are high for this season after very dark years: a place in the top three of the Super League and, of course, a career in Swiss Cup which must mark the spirits. Mario Balotelli is fully aware of this. “It’s not going to be easy, but we’re going to try,” he smiles.
Shine in Sion could, why not, allow him to find the “Nationale”. “I have never drawn a line under the national team. But for the moment, the question does not arise. My only priority is FC Sion”, he explains not without showing a certain spite.
“I don’t care about my reputation”
This spring, he has long cherished the hope of being recalled by Roberto Mancini for the World Cup play-offs. “Not being on the final list for this dam was a shock,” he concedes.
Finally, Mario Balotelli denied being the “bad boy” of world football. “I don’t care about my reputation, says the one who does not consider himself a star but a simple football player. A bad reputation is too often built on trivial details. Education and respect are the values instilled in me by my parents. Only their opinions and those of my relatives count in my eyes. The people who talk about me and stick me false lawsuits without knowing me do not interest me.
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