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Monday Kickoff: Balotelli linked with Milan exit; Ronaldo a doubt for Galatasaray clash; and more

MarioBalotelliACMilan2-Genoa (Getty)


Mario Balotelli’s tumultuous time at AC Milan could be nearing its end.

After converting the first 26 penalty kicks of his professional career, Balotelli missed the second one of the season as Milan drew 1-1 with Genoa, dropping the Italian giants to 13th place in Serie A. Following the match, Balotelli sent out a Tweet saying “This is the end” in English, though a few hours later he backtracked and said he was happy to stay at the club.

However, on Monday, Balotelli arrived late for training, and though he’s included in the Milan squad for its UEFA Champions League match against Celtic on Tuesday, his future at the club seems a bit clouded. In addition, Milan head coach Max Allegri could be out of a job if Milan doesn’t pull out a positive result in Champions League, according to reports in Italy.

So far this season, Balotelli has scored five goals in 14 matches, but none since mid-October. The Italian international moved to Milan last January from Manchester City, after starting his career at crosstown rivals Inter Milan.

Here are some more stories to kickoff your week:


Real Madrid can secure first place in Champions League Group B on Wednesday, but it may have to do so without Cristiano Ronaldo.

The superstar winger was forced off early in the second half with a muscular problem after scoring three minutes into the match, but Ronaldo brushed off any concerns of his injury to the media after the game. However, according to Spanish publication AS, Madrid will keep Ronaldo on the sidelines for their Champions League match at home against Galatasaray to keep the injury from progressing. Madrid next plays Real Valladolid on Saturday.

Since the start of this season, Ronaldo has seemingly improved his incredible goal-scoring record, scoring 25 goals in 18 games in all competitions in the Real Madrid shirt.


Marseille winger Andre Ayew is set to miss the next two months after suffering a meniscus tear in his left knee while on international duty with Ghana. (REPORT)

Sunderland have submitted an appeal to the FA after Wes Brown’s dubious red card dismissal last Saturday. (REPORT)

Nike have released their design of Brazil’s 2014 World Cup jersey, featuring a sleek take on the classic canary yellow jerseys. (REPORT)

German international Sidney Sam has been ruled out of Bayer Leverkusen’s match against Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday. (REPORT)

Boca Juniors’ chances of winning the Argentine Primera Division took a major hit with their 2-0 home defeat to All Boys last Sunday. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Do you see Balotelli leaving Milan? Do you believe Real Madrid could rest Ronaldo for their next match?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Admittedly its a thought I’ve had and what would be the harm in any MLS side with enough backing making an approach. Absolutely none. Of course Balotelli’s past with MCFC would probably stop NYCFC making contact (though certainly if anyone could make it happen Sheik Mansour could) but could another MLS side attempt to fire the shot heard around the world?

  2. Balotelli in MLS would be gold, he would be in sportcenter 24–7, news channels, all sports channels and he would destroy MLS, but he can also be a cancer but MLS needs a cancer like him at least for 2 seasons. Imagine balotelli in LA or MIami or NY, he would be what MLS needs, world attention and it would be a beckham snowball effect.
    Also, Kaka wtf, you should of come to MLS instead of MIlan, maybe Red Bull would have won MLS Cup if they would of gotten him.
    Crazy Q, will Balotelli join toronto

    • I always thought Balotelli would be a perfect for NYCFC’s first DP with Kaka going to Orlando, but I am kinda nuts. I still want Galaxy to find a taker for Donovan or Gonzalez and grab Xabi Alonso.

    • Donovan is a bit old really. He could still make it but… I really think only a team familiar with him would want him. So basically Everton. Wish he had gone in 2010, he fit right into that team.

    • I actually could see Balotelli loving life in the U.S., especially in a city like Miami, NY or LA. A friendlier media, lots of models or porn stars to cavort with, a lot of women’s prisons to explore, abundant fireworks, none of the in-stadium racism he’s dealt with in Italy. He’d still have to deal with the homesickness problem he had while in Manchester. But if Milan and Italy haven’t worked out, not sure there are greener pastures in terms of the homesickness. I could see him coming to America earlier than most would expect, but not so sure it would be now. Seems like it would jeopardize his spot in the Italy starting 11 and of course, any chance of European club glory. Maybe he tries to join Ibra at PSG? Do they have any money left?

      • Lol Balotelli @ PSG with Ibra, Cavani and Lavezzi already there? Ibra wanted to leave when Cavani came as he was no longer the center of attention.

        Most likely Spain but MLS isn’t too far off the radar if the $$$ is right.

  3. Klinsmann gave a big interview in the German press, including this interesting comment:

    QUESTION: Next year you will be 50 years old. Time for a new adventure, a return to Germany?

    Klinsmann: I’ve never categorically ruled out something in my life. But I have a very exciting job here. It’s not just about the national team. I also am involved in all fields such as youth football, talent search and talent development, college football. This is my adventure enough. My family is happy. And I have time for my hobbies.

    • My favorite part – no time to translate:

      “Wie erden Sie abgehobene Spieler?

      Klinsmann: Für mich ist das relativ einfach, da nur ganz wenige meiner Spieler in der Champions League, also in der Königsklasse, kicken dürfen. Sie haben das große Ziel noch lange nicht erreicht. Wenn dennoch jemand die Bodenhaftung verliert, dauert mein Gespräch meist nur 30 Sekunden. Ich frage dann: ‘Spielst du schon für Barcelona, Manchester oder die Bayern? Komisch, ich habe dich da noch nie gesehen.’ Das reicht in der Regel.”

      • In my own paraphrasing:

        How do you keep your best players grounded (humble)?

        Klinsmann – That’s kind of easy since most of them don’t play in the Champions League or at the highest levels. It doesn’t take more than 30 seconds. If they still give me back talk, I just ask them ‘Oh, you play for Barcelona, Manchester, or Munich? I’ve never seen you with them before…’ That usually is sufficient.

        Fantastic stuff right there…

      • Being able to teach what you can do isn’t the same as doing it. That being said working with someone who more or less won everything worth winning must be intimidating. Jurgen would understand ambition better than most.

  4. Not sure who would be willing to take a shot on Balotelli at this point honestly. He has claimed to love playing in Italy in the past but keeps upsetting people there. He’s so talented I’m sure someone would give him a shot but it is hard to see him shaping up right now

    • Balotelli is extremely talented but he’s a mental midget. He is his own worst enemy. Only he can prevent himself from being a world class striker for years to come.

      • A ‘mental midget’ is rather harsh. Erratic, petulant, not focused enough on football, fair enough. He is, however, nothing if not entertaining and a one-of-a-kind personality! We may never see all that he could accomplish on the pitch, but he’s still always gonna be a hot commodity and able to put butts in seats.

      • He’s a 23-year-old millionaire. He’s the best Italian player of his generation, AND he’s had to deal with constant racism throughout his career despite his incredible ability.

        I’d cut him a little bit of slack. They say you’re an idiot till you’re 25. He’s got time.

  5. So this means Balotelli is a Doors fan….

    Designwise the Brazil jersey is one of those classics where you should just leave it alone with a touch here or there at most. Like Homer Simpson’s barber who clips the one hair on his head and charges the regular $10.


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