Berlusconi’s Political Bet

Balotelli can be the "new Zlatan Ibrahimović". Berlusconi counts on it

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In January, AC Milan had bought the talented Italian icon, Mario Balotelli. His transfer cost Milan more than €20m and, according to one Italian columnist, it will be worth about 400,000 votes for a certain Silvio Berlusconi.

Berlusconi hopes his new employee will reignite Milan’s 2012/13 campaign and on the way help him win over some young Italian voters.

It was off to a good start for Balotelli, who scored twice on his Milan debut and joined the likes of Marco van Basten, Andriy Shevchenko and Oliver Bierhoff.  Although he is now an AC Milan player, he is not like any of these strikers – who were all great team players. Balotelli also can’t pretend to be a sort of Didier Drogba – a sophisticated battering ram – and he is definitely not in the Thierry Henry-sphere.

However, Balotelli can be the “new Zlatan Ibrahimović” – a highly skilled super-star with a personality and an ego that do not allow him to fully commit to one club, unless this club makes him the one and only leader of the pack.

Mario Balotelli is a football monster. He has the skill, presence, mass and density to change any team that he comes into. However, he needs to be the alpha-dog. He cannot work for a system, he needs the system to work for him. Did he find this system at Milan?  Berlusconi counts on it.

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