Mario Balotelli revealed his mother cried when he told her he was joining hometown club Brescia and insists he has no fear of failing on his return to Serie A after an absence of three years.
Balotelli was born in Palermo but moved to Brescia at the age of two, and his adoptive family still lives there although his father died in 2015.
Speaking at his first news conference on Monday, Balotelli says,
“I probably spent more of my career abroad than in Italy. My Mum cried when I told her I had the possibility of coming to Brescia! I asked what she thought and she was just crying. She’s very happy.
“My Father was from Brescia, he supported the team and it was his dream to see me play with this jersey, so I think he’d be happy too.
“Naturally, as a Bresciano, the derby with Atalanta is special and it hasn’t been played in Serie A for many years, but every game is important.”
Balotelli arrives at Brescia on a free transfer after his contract with Marseille expired. Balo turned down Flamengo and it’s reported one of the main reasons was so that he could be within easy reach for Italy Coach Roberto Mancini.
“I am absolutely targeting a place in the Italy squad for Euro 2020.
“I spoke to Mancini when he wished me a happy birthday (earlier this month). Brescia is my town, so it can give me much more than other places, just as I hope to give Brescia far more than I could anywhere else.”
His last spell in Italy was a miserable one as he struggled with injury and scored only once in a season-long loan at AC Milan before returning to Liverpool in 2016 and moving immediately to France, resurrecting his career first with Nice and then at Marseille.
The 29-year-old Balotelli adds: ‘I have zero fear of failing … I’m fine, very calm.’