It's been a relatively calm and fruitful period for Mario Balotelli since he joined Milan from Man City in January. But in the second half of Italy's World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic, Balotelli's old proclivity for getting sent off popped up at an inopportune time. The 22-year-old was booked twice in a span of four minutes for a couple of needless fouls, resulting in a sending off in the 72nd minute. Balotelli then let out his frustration by punching one wall of the tunnel and kicking the other (1:00 into the video above).
You could argue that the second yellow was a bit soft, but after the match, Italy manager Cesare Prandelli said that Balotelli needs to manage his temper better. From Football Italia:
“Balotelli has to learn how to accept situations and he needs to grow in that sense. We will drum that message into him. I was going to substitute him, but I didn’t have time,” confessed Prandelli.
The match between group leaders Italy and the third-place Czechs ended in a 0-0 draw. Italy remain undefeated through seven matches in this final stage of qualifying.
UPDATE: After sleeping on it, Mario Balotelli decided to apologize for getting sent off. From his Twitter account:
.. Buon giorno.. Ieri la mia reazione non è stata giusta ,chiedo scusa.. SCUSA.. Alla mia squadra .. Devo imparare... Ancora..
— Mario balotelli (@FinallyMario) June 8, 2013
The translation: "..Good morning.. Yesterday my reaction was not the right one, I offer an apology.. SORRY..to my team..I need to learn...still.."