Balotelli is free to leave Brescia in January, says president Cellino

By Sports Desk December 02, 2019

Brescia will allow Mario Balotelli to leave the club for free in January, according to the Serie A club's president Massimo Cellino.

Former Manchester City and Milan striker Balotelli signed for his hometown club Brescia – who sit bottom of Serie A – in August and has scored two goals in eight league appearances.

The 29-year-old, who played in his side's 3-0 defeat to Atalanta on Saturday, has endured a tumultuous return to Italy, with several incidents overshadowing his performances.

In an away Serie A clash with Hellas Verona last month, he kicked a ball into the stands and threatened to walk off the pitch after being subjected to monkey chants by home supporters.

That was followed by a training ground spat with head coach Fabio Grosso, which saw him dropped ahead of the 3-0 loss to Roma on November 24.

In the wake of that incident, Cellino said Balotelli was "black and is working on lightening up, but he is facing troubles". The word 'nero' in Italian means black but can also be used for 'gloomy', as in a person's state of mind.

Cellino concedes Balotelli's time at the club has not gone to plan and says he will not stand in his way if he wants to leave next month.

"Mario is sad because he can't express the game of football," Cellino told Le Iene. "For him to play in Serie A is a big sacrifice; maybe he thought it was simpler. 

"In January he is free to go away for free. Right now, he has to choose the road up or down. He has to convince himself. I don't want him to go away. If he leaves, we have both lost the bet."

Cellino moved to play down his recent remarks about the striker, denying there were any racist undertones.

"I wanted to play it all down, but I did it too much," he added.

"Me, racist? I'm Catholic, I can't be. What did I mean by 'he's clearing himself up'? If you don't like him, does it mean this boy must be cleared up to be accepted?

"I spoke with him, it was not me that offended him. When my joke was put in that way [by the media], I was more worried about Mario than anything else. My comment was manipulated.

"I said b******t, I do jokes too. After Verona, I told him to buy a can of paint, so he will make all these b******s happy. They are a******s that go to the stadium to offend.

"Mario is not a warrior who challenges everyone, it is not so. Mario must make people feel that he's suffering."

Related items

  • Gattuso: Napoli in training retreat after hitting rock bottom Gattuso: Napoli in training retreat after hitting rock bottom

    Gennaro Gattuso said Napoli players have decided to go into a training retreat after hitting "rock bottom" following a 2-0 loss at home to Fiorentina.

    Napoli's season hit a new low after Saturday's defeat against Fiorentina – a third consecutive Serie A loss leaving Gattuso's side languishing in 13th position.

    Gattuso has lost four of his first five league matches in charge since replacing Carlo Ancelotti in December as frustration grows and tension builds.

    Now, Napoli are going into a training retreat ahead of games against Lazio and Juventus, revealed head coach Gattuso post-match.

    Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis took legal action when first-team stars reportedly rebelled against a training retreat during Ancelotti's tenure earlier this season.

    "I spoke to the squad and they made the decision to go into a training retreat from this evening," Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia. "It was their decision. We can't underestimate any detail. We need to look each other in the eye, stay together and say what needs to be said.

    "We have to find solutions, because what we're doing right now is not enough."

    Runners-up last season and in 2017-18, Napoli have looked a shadow of themselves – lacking energy, creativity and passion.

    "We must first and foremost apologise to the fans and the whole city, because the performance was embarrassing," Gattuso told DAZN.

    "In the past we had decent performances, but here other than the first 20-25 minutes, there was a lot that needed work.

    "We can't look for alibis, we have hit rock bottom here and need to find out what is happening. It looks as if we just met this morning, put the jerseys on and went on to the pitch. There is no organisation or unity, we are all at sea.

    "It's strange, because the team trains hard during the week and does well, then we get out there on match day and don't do anything. We're sluggish, we let the opposition through, we create little. Nothing worked this evening and it's only right we take responsibility for that.

    "I can't explain it, as I felt the team would put in a great performance tonight and I was let down. The team has no soul. We thought that we were recovering from the earlier situation, but evidently we're still sick."

  • Zidane insists VAR was right to rule out De Jong goal Zidane insists VAR was right to rule out De Jong goal

    Zinedine Zidane believes it was the right decision to rule out a Luuk de Jong goal in Real Madrid's 2-1 victory over Sevilla on Saturday.

    Madrid moved top of LaLiga as two goals from Casemiro secured all three points at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite De Jong having briefly made it 1-1 in the second half.

    The striker thought he had given Sevilla the lead half an hour in, but his header was disallowed following a VAR check, with referee Juan Martinez Munuera instead penalising Nemanja Gudelj for blocking Eder Militao in the build-up.

    Sevilla head coach Julen Lopetegui was aghast at the decision and director of football Monchi claimed he would have taken the team off the pitch had they seen a goal disallowed for a second time when VAR was used to check a possible handball by Munir El Haddadi.

    Zidane, though, sees little reason to feel the decisions changed the game.

    "What I can say is that I saw the incident and it's a block, there's a foul, the referee saw it on VAR, and he gave the foul," the Madrid boss told reporters.

    "For the second, there's a hand, he doesn't give it. I can't explain anything, and I never get into evaluating these things. It's for the referee to decide.

    "Sometimes these things go against you and sometimes in your favour. It's a difficult job. It's for them to decide.

    "For me, there's a block, it's a foul and it's really normal."

    When asked about Monchi's comments, Zidane replied: "I don't think the referee was that decisive. He did what he had to do.

    "There's a hand for their goal, but that wasn't given. What can I say? I'm not going to get into it.

    "It's a complicated game for everyone. We played against a good team, but the result is logical for what happened on the pitch.

    "What he said is his responsibility. It's not for me to say anything. In the end, it's the referee who decides.

    "What he said seems a little strong to me, but I'm not going to prevent the Sevilla sporting director from speaking."

    Zidane went on to praise the performance of Casemiro, who proved Madrid's unlikely hero by scoring twice in the same game for the first time in his career with the club.

    "Good, because in the end he got two goals and that's not usual," he said of Casemiro's performance. "I'm happy for him. We can make the difference in attack with any player."

  • I'd have taken the team off! Sevilla rage against VAR after loss at Real Madrid I'd have taken the team off! Sevilla rage against VAR after loss at Real Madrid

    Sevilla director of football Monchi was incensed by VAR's intervention in the defeat to Real Madrid, claiming he would have walked his team off the pitch had Luuk de Jong seen a second goal disallowed.

    Zinedine Zidane's Madrid side claimed a 2-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Casemiro scoring either side of a De Jong strike to send the hosts to the top of LaLiga.

    Sevilla thought they had taken the lead in the first half through De Jong's header, only for the goal to be disallowed when a VAR check prompted referee Juan Martinez Munuera to penalise Nemanja Gudelj for blocking Eder Militao.

    Monchi was left furious by the decision and suggested he would have taken matters into his own hands had VAR intervened again when a possible handball by Munir El Haddadi before De Jong's finish was checked.

    "Everyone saw the action. There's no footballing, technical or tactical analysis after such a clear incident that defines the game," Monchi told Movistar.

    "There's nothing more to analyse about it. It's absurd.

    "If they had ruled out the second goal, I would have come down to the pitch and taken the team off.

    "We leave here satisfied with the game despite the defeat because Sevilla are a very big team. We're angry, outraged, and... I stop there."

    Head coach Julen Lopetegui insisted there was no clear reason why Sevilla's opening goal should have been ruled out.

    "I feel sad. When you lose a game, you're sad," Lopetegui said.

    "We played quite a good first half. We deactivated Madrid, we scored an absolutely legal goal.

    "I don't know if 'shame' is the right word. If I said that [at the time], it's not appropriate, but there's no reason to disallow the goal. We've seen it and it was legal.

    "It's a great goal, a play we worked on throughout the week and I still don't know why it was ruled out."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.