Mario Balotelli Training With Serie D Side Franciacorta After Summer Release

Former Manchester City and Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is training with Serie D side Franciacorta after being released by Brescia at the end of last season.

Balotelli spent the 2019/20 campaign at his hometown side Brescia, but when the club were relegated to Serie B, the automatic renewal clause of his contract was not activated and the 30-year-old became a free agent.

Brescia and Balotelli were relegated at the end of the season | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

He was linked with Genoa, Serie C side Como 1907, Flamengo and CFR Cluj in Romania during the transfer window, but a move failed to materialise.

According to local Italian paper Bresciaoggi [via the Daily Mail], the forward is now training with semi-professional fourth tier side Franciacorta in order to maintain his fitness levels while he continues to look for a new club.

Balotelli is friends with the Franciacorta sporting director Eugenio Bianchini and striker Alessandro Bertazzoli, who invited him to train with the Serie D side.

The Italian forward has famously enjoyed a colourful career. He arrived at Manchester City from Inter for a €21.8m fee in 2010 with a reputation as one of the most exciting young footballers in world football, and he would go on to win the Golden Boy award four months after moving to the Premier League.

Balotelli played an important part in Manchester City's maiden Premier League title triumph during the 2011/12 season, but was just as notorious for his bravado and off the field antics.

The former Inter man set his house on fire in 2011 after shooting fireworks from his bathroom window, and then scored in the Manchester derby the following day, revealing his famous 'Why Always Me' t-shirt in celebration.

He has since had spells at Milan, Liverpool - where he was brought in to replace Luis Suarez - Nice and Marseille, before moving to Brescia in 2019.

Balotelli was also an integral part of the Italy side that reached the final of Euro 2012, but he has not featured for his country since May 2018.

Source : 90min