Balotelli happy to be home in Brescia




Mario Balotelli made his last Italy appearance in the Nations League in September 2018
Mario Balotelli made his last Italy appearance in the Nations League in September 2018  

Rome (AFP) - Mario Balotelli said on Monday he had "thought of nothing else" after receiving an offer from Brescia, the club in the city where he grew up.

"I chose Brescia because when their offer came in, I didn't think about anything else," the much-travelled striker said at his presentation press conference. "Here, I have everything I need, because it's the team from my city."

Balotelli was born in Palermo but grew up in Brescia, in northern Italy, where he owns an apartment.

The club were promoted to Serie A this year, after being relegated in 2011.

"I have spent more years abroad than in Italy," said Balotelli who was without a club after his brief contract with Marseille ran out at the end of last season. "My mother cried when she heard that I was coming back to Brescia, she was very happy."

"And my father dreamed of seeing me play at home."

"I have no fear. The objective is to make this team progress, by giving the team what I can give it. I think you're the one who's most afraid," the striker also said.

The 29-year-old has won 36 caps for Italy but only one since 2014. He said hopes to be called up again.

"Absolutely, yes," he said, adding that Italy coach Roberto Mancini had sent him a message of congratulations.

Balotelli has been the victim of racism from fans in Italy.

"I hope from my heart to find a different league and not experience new episodes of racism," he said.

Balotelli, who has to complete a four-game suspension for a red card while playing for Marseille, cannot make his debut until the fifth round of Serie A on September 25 when Brescia host champions Juventus.

Balotelli made his debut in local team Lumezzane in Serie C as a 16-year-old, before moving to Serie A giants Inter Milan in 2007. He later had two spells at AC Milan and also played for Manchester City, Liverpool and Nice.

Sky Sports Italia reported Balotelli has signed a three-year deal worth three million euros ($3.3 million) for the first year, plus a further three million if the club remains in Serie A.

In the following two years he will receive six million euros per season if Brescia remain in Serie A, Sky reported.

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