Algeria international struggling to make an impact at the San Siro

<b>Mario Balotelli (Italy)</b><br/>
There can be few players in the history of the game for whom the word hothead has been more appropriate. Mario Balotelli, Italy's young forward, has been making headlines all season and, to the ever-increasing dismay of even his most ardent supporters, all too rarely for acts of footballing brilliance. As well as his bizarre off-field antics, including throwing darts at academy players or the infamous firework incident, Balotelli's career has been plagued by ill-discipline on the pitch. He picked up two red cards this season, for the third year in a row, and was perhaps fortunate not to receive more, a stamp on Scott Parker being punished retrospectively and a tackle on Alex Song going unpunished. Also capable of producing moments of sheer genius, Balotelli looks certain to make an impact this summer one way or another.

Mario Balotelli among Italy squad for Euro 2012

Defender Andrea Ranocchia and forward Mattia Destro were left out of Italy's 23-man Euro 2012 squad today but centre back Leonardo Bonucci was included despite the match-fixing crisis engulfing the country.

British referee giving Mario Balotelli a red card

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli again expresses faith in Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has expressed his faith in controversial Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

Del Piero grabbed an 82nd-minute winner

Juventus regain top spot in Serie A

Juventus regained top spot in Serie A thanks to substitute Alessandro Del Piero's decisive goal in a hard-fought 2-1 home victory over Champions League hopefuls Lazio.

Italy star Cannavaro quits

Fabio Cannavaro, the former World Player of the Year, retired yesterday, five years to the day since captaining Italy to World Cup glory.

Carvalho Amauri a target for English clubs claims agent

Italy international Carvalho Amauri is a transfer target for two English clubs, according to the player's agent.

Juventus sign Matri from Cagliari

Juventus revamped their forward line on Monday's transfer deadline day, loaning Alessandro Matri from Cagliari and sending misfit striker Amauri to Parma. The fallen Turin giants finished seventh in Serie A last term and are in the same position this season after a series of insipid displays undermined by injuries and a lack of confidence among their forwards.

Amauri turned down Fulham and West Brom, claims agent

Juventus forward Amauri has turned down moves to Fulham and West Brom, his agent today claimed.

Parma still chasing Borini

Parma president Tommaso Ghirardi has not given up hope of signing Chelsea striker Fabio Borini.

Real hope 'father figure' Carvalho can tame Messi


Ready To Wear: The peacock male will be wearing animal print

My affection for Cristiano Ronaldo is well documented. (I would, basically.) It soared to unprecedented heights last weekend, however, with the unveiling of his new boots.

Tinello 87 Pimlico Road, London SW1

Are ex-Locanda Locatelli chef Federico Sali and his sommelier brother a match for their former employer?

Transfer talk

Southend Utd

Football round-up: Beckford moves to Everton on a free

Jermaine Beckford is on the brink of signing a four-year contract with Everton after ending his prolific career with Leeds United. Beckford and the Elland Road club agreed to terminate his deal, clearing the way for the striker to tie up a free transfer to Goodison Park.

Gianfranco Zola factfile

A look at the Italians record after it was announced he had been sacked as manager of West Ham.

Del Piero wants end to season from hell

Alessandro Del Piero cannot wait for Juventus' "devastating" season to be over.

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Independent Travel
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South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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