Welcome home Balotelli, a self-confessed Milanista

Posted by Sumeet Paul

The wait is over. A self-confessed Milanista, who once wore the Rossoneri colours during a television show despite still playing for Inter at the time, and, as Marco Materazzi recently revealed, wore Milan socks to training, Mario Balotelli is a Rossonero.

- Curtis: Transfer list or team sheet for Balotelli

Confirmed by the Milan Channel and Milan Director Umberto Gandini on Tuesday afternoon, Balotelli will arrive in the city on Wednesday to complete a medical before putting pen to paper on a contract.

Provided there are no last minute hitches, his deal will run until June 30, 2017, and comes at a price of €20 million, to be paid over a six-year period with another €3 million in performance-related bonuses.

Without needing to endear himself further to the club and fans alike, Balotelli has reportedly agreed to cut his wages by joining the club in a bid to ensure the move was secured.

With such disappointment and confusion over what direction the club were heading in after a summer of upheaval, Balotelli's arrival provides a boost even without the 22-year-old having taken to the pitch yet.

Headlines are likely to shadow him for the next few days as both Milan and Serie A as a whole celebrate the arrival, or in Balotelli's case, the return, of such a star who can undoubtedly further reignite the fortunes of the Rossoneri.

Constantly ridiculed for the petulant and controversial sides of his personality in England, Balotelli's love affair with English football has been turbulent. Despite the unwavering support of Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, the time has now come for the Italian international to return home, in more than one sense.

The hope will now be that the Balotelli who arrives at Milanello later in the week, is the Balotelli we saw playing for the Azzurri. Aside from his star performances at Euro 2012, he has been equally impressive in friendlies and qualifiers since. Controlling both his temper and frustration, Balotelli has grown in the national side under the guidance of Cesare Prandelli, sacrificing himself for his team-mates.

Massimiliano Allegri will be hoping to have a similar effect on the former Inter striker, whilst also giving him the opportunity to play with Stephan El Shaarawy at club level. The Rossoneri will now boast an envious strike-force that can represent both club and country for years to come. And while there is still a need to improve the defence, Balotelli's arrival will not only lift those around him but also help attract others in the summer.

Suffice to say, El Shaarawy was delighted with his new team-mate, taking to Twitter he wrote: "Welcome Mario!!! I am so happy with his arrival." Along with Mbaye Niang, there are short odds on a 'best hairstyle of the month' award being created in the dressing room.

For now, Balotelli remains an enigma that thrills and frustrates in equal measure, but by joining Milan he has the environment and support he needs to flourish. At just 22, his best years are ahead of him and what better way to spend them than celebrating in front of the Curva Sud. It's hard not to be a little excited by the arrival of 'Super Mario'.

What are your thoughts on Balotelli's arrival?

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