Mario Balotelli is already a very popular footballer internationally, and the Italian is especially famous in his native Italy. The charismatic and intense 22-year-old's popularity is about to go to another level.
Milan director Umberto Gandini has said transfer agreed for Mario Balotelli until 2017. Personal terms and medical talks tomorrow. #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 29, 2013
Not only will Balotelli get an opportunity to delight Italian fans as a member of Italy's national team, he'll now be joining one of the most legendary clubs in his homeland. What makes this union even more of a feel-good story is Balotelli's desire to play for an Italian club.
Now that Balotelli has his wish, he stands to help The Red and Blacks on the pitch and from a marketing standpoint.
His abilities as a pure striker will be valuable to the club. He generates great power on shots and his agility and strength are especially effective during his runs. Balotelli's persona will also be great for the popularity of the club abroad.
The Red and Blacks obviously have a great following in Milan, but Balotelli is one of the most recognizable players in the sport.
Part of what makes him so polarizing isn't all positive, though.
He has had several off-the-field issues in his career, and he's often bumped heads with authority (Daily Mail). Per BBC, Balotelli and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini were involved in a recent altercation that could have helped City decide to part ways with him.
Apparently, Massimiliano Allegri is willing to gamble that the good will far outweigh the bad with his newest acquisition. Bringing the young and potentially mercurial star back home could help him committ to a club, and hopefully, it will inspire him to play with the pride he genuinely displays in international matches.
With Milan currently sitting fifth in the Italian Serie A table, the need for a spark is apparent. Both player and club will ultimately benefit from this move.