Mario Balotelli joins hometown club Brescia on a free

Balotelli has reportedly signed a three-year deal worth €3 million for the first year plus a further €3 million if the club remains in Serie A. — Reuters pic

Balotelli has reportedly signed a three-year deal worth €3 million for the first year plus a further €3 million if the club remains in Serie A. — Reuters pic

Balotelli was born in Palermo, but moved to Brescia aged two and his adoptive family still lives there.

The 36-time capped Azzurri worldwide was viewed as one of European football's hottest properties after initially bursting onto the scene with Inter Milan, eventually leading to a high-profile move to Premier League giants Manchester City. "This is my city, I can give so much more here". It is also a way to thank Brescia, who is very close to me.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: Mario Balotelli of Manchester City looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at the Boleyn Ground on November 3, 2012 in London, England.

The 29-year-old striker returns to Italy for the first time since 2016, when he ended his Milan loan from Liverpool, going on to feature for Nice and Olympique Marseille. "You can't be loved by everyone".

He will be officially unveiled as a Brescia player on Monday afternoon at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti.

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Balotelli was included in Roberto Mancini's first two squads and played his first matches for Italy since the 2014 World Cup but the forward has not been called up in almost a year.

Balotelli ruled out a move to Flamengo to go back to Italy and a possible return to the Italian national team. "Because the current coach is fair".

It had been reported to be a basic salary of €1.5m for one year with numerous extra bonuses and add-ons for goals scored, appearances, Italy caps and an automatic renewal in case Brescia avoid relegation.

Balotelli's first appearance for Brescia will likely be the home match against eight-time defending champion Juventus on September 25.

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