Mario Balotelli Pops Up During Introduction of Inter Milan's New Manager (Video)
New Inter Milan manager Andrea Stramaccioni must have felt a brief flicker of hope that his bosses were buying him a welcome-to-the-new-job gift when Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli popped up at his introductory press conference.
In the middle of Stramaccioni's questioning by reporters, Balotelli entered the room.
He stepped up to the front table and greeted the new coach, as well as the assembled Inter executives. Then he was gone, just as quickly as he had arrived.
The Daily Mail quotes Inter CEO Ernesto Paolillo as saying the visit was typical Balotelli:
"He came to say hello to everybody at the training centre then left...We did not know he was coming but it’s not the first time. It’s typical of Mario. I see him sometimes when he comes to Milan...We kissed hello and he left. We had no time to speak. I’ve known him at Inter since he was a young boy."
The Italian forward played three seasons at Inter, ending in August 2010 when the club sold him to Manchester City.
Inter's new coach took the unexpected arrival in stride. Rising to greet Balotelli, the two shook hands with Stramaccioni saying, "What a surprise."
The 36-year-old steps into the club's top job following Monday's sacking of Claudio Ranieri.
He takes over a team that sits eighth in the Serie A table, 22 points off the pace set by leaders AC Milan and 10 points out of the final Champions League place.
It's the former youth coach's first crack at top-flight management.
Stramaccioni called his appointment "a dream come true," and said that he is not awed, but excited (per ESPN).
"The only certainty that I have is my ideas. I am humble and I want to bring this team back to where it belongs. I don't feel fear. I want to bring enthusiasm.''
Stramaccioni will be the fifth manager in less than two years for owner Massimo Moratti's club. He becomes the latest to step into the Jose Mourinho-shaped shadow that looms over the San Siro pitch.
Mourinho spent two seasons at the club, winning a pair of league titles, one Coppa Italia and the 2010 Champions League.
Despite his predecessor's achievements, Stramaccioni says he will not try to live up to Mourinho's record at Inter.
"Mourinho is one of my idols because I am a young coach and he has won everything. But my thoughts are not on what he has done and what I will do. I just feel fortunate to have this opportunity.''
Stramaccioni's first game in charge will come on Sunday when Inter welcome Genoa to the San Siro.
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