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Mario Balotelli's double life... - The Birth of Mario Balotelli

Growing pains: Balotelli with mother Rose and brother Enoch

Born to Ghanaian immigrants Rose and Thomas on August 12, 1990, in Palermo, the future athlete was in and out of hospital as a baby. Mr Barwuah was forced to find work away from home and shuttled back and forth every weekend on a 12-hour overnight train. Mrs Barwuah was left at home with two young children — Abigail and Mario. Life was hard, to say the least.

Mr Barwuah said: ‘There were complications with Mario’s intestines and he was in a bad way. The doctors were worried that he would not survive and we even had him baptised in hospital in case he died.

‘For a year we were frantic with worry that he would not live. He was our first-born son and we were so proud when he was born, but we were left facing the prospect he might die.’

Mario’s condition improved by the spring of 1992 and the family moved to Brescia, a wealthy industrial city with a rich vein of factories and industries looking for workers.

At first they lived in a cramped studio flat with another African family before asking social services for help, pointing out Mario had recently recovered from an operation.

Social workers suggested Mario should be fostered. They proposed Francesco and Silvio Balotelli, who already had two sons and a daughter of their own.



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