The shocking defeat of the Italian football team in the Brazil World Cup is being largely blamed on Mario Balotelli, the controversial black player whose temper and lack of discipline are tolerated only as long as he scores goals and wins victories.
There was a clear rift between Mr Balotelli and his companions after the match, and he was publicly isolated during the travel back to Italy. It was hoped that Mr Balotelli’s fame in time would ease the mistrust of the Italian public for immigrants (although Mr Balotelly is a full-fledged Italian citizen). It is now unlikely that he will become a symbol of integration.
Moreover Mr Gianluigi Buffon, the Italian goalkeeper and one of the few respected members of the national team, accused the younger players of a lack of moral, physical and professional fiber. Another deeply rooted stereotype.