Mario Balotelli dedicates 1st goal in return to Italy team to fallen ex-teammate Davide Astori

Mario Balotelli made his first international appearance for Italy for over four years yesterday vs Saudi Arabia.

Italy came away 2-1 winners and Balotelli scored the first goal of the game in his return to international football.

Touching tribute

After the game had finished Balotelli would go on to dedicate his goal to former Italy team-mate Davide Astori.

Astori died suddenly earlier this year on March 3rd at the age of just 31. Balotelli would post this message via his Instagram after the game.

“I know it’s late, I know you’re (Astori) there now, but I am convinced that you were watching the game with my father today!

“This goal, even if it doesn’t mean anything, even if it doesn’t serve anything, I dedicate it to you.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjVkImRgqwU/?utm_source=ig_embed

A real show of class from the former Manchester City and Liverpool forward.

What’s next for Balotelli?

Balotelli had a superb 2017/18 season for Ligue 1 side OGC Nice. The Italian played 38 games in all competitions and scored an impressive 26 goals.

This excellent goalscoring form was what earned Balotelli his spot back in the Italy side.

Now, however, it is also sparking rumours that Balotelli could be set to leave OGC Nice this summer for a bigger club.

According to his agent Mino Raiola, it is Napoli who could be set to sign the inform Italian this summer.

Raiola would go on to state that,

“You have to ask [incoming Napoli coach Carlo] Ancelotti. What I can say is that apart from Insigne, there is no-one as strong as him,”

So, it seems as though as long as Ancelotti wants Balotelli at Napoli, that it were Super Mario will be ending up this summer after an excellent 2017/18 campaign.

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Balotelli would also respond to a banner aimed at him from last nights Italy game.

 

Related: Roberto Mancini suggests Gianluigi Buffon could play for Italy again.

Mario Balotelli is back: Roberto Mancini announces his first Italy squad

 

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