Balotelli headed back to Italy after turning down move to Brazil

Photo credit: CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images

Mario Balotelli is headed back to Italy, where he’ll sign with Serie A side Brescia — in the city he affectionately calls home — after three largely successful seasons in France, according to multiple reports from across Europe.

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In opting to join the newly promoted side on a reported three-year contract, the 29-year-old rejected an offer from Brazilian powerhouse Flamengo. Brescia were champions of Serie B last season, finishing a point ahead of Lecce, who were also promoted.

Balotelli was born in Palermo, but he spent much of his childhood in Brescia. He has always said that Brescia is the only place where he feels at home.

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Since he last played in Italy, for AC Milan during the 2015-16 season, Balotelli scored 41 goals in Ligue 1 (33 in two and a half seasons for Nice; eight in a half-season for Marseille).