Roberto Mancini has brought success to Manchester City since replacing Mark Hughes as manager of the club in December 2009. But the former Inter Milan coach also brought his "wayward son" in the shape of Balotelli.
Mancini has continually backed the young striker throughout his misdemeanours and controversies at City, and the fates of Balotelli and his manager seem to be intertwined.
Balotelli was lambasted for his dismissal at Arsenal in April, which cost City badly in the race for the Premier League title. But Mancini kept faith and brought him off the bench with City trailing 2-1 to Queens Park Rangers on the final day of last season.
After Edin Dzeko equalised for City in the final minute, Balotelli would provide the assist for Sergio Aguero's late title-winning strike.
However, Mancini and Balotelli were involved in a training-ground altercation as Sky Sports reported early this year, an incident which may have proved to be the last straw for the City manager.
One incident which sums up the father-son nature of their relationship is the reaction of both men when Mancini withdrew Balotelli from the preseason friendly with LA Galaxy: The angry father menacingly followed the petulant son down the touchline.