'I was eating cardboard and biting chunks out of the wall' – Balotelli struggling to cope with lockdown


Mario Balotelli says he has been "going crazy" during his lockdown as he has spent the past several weeks totally alone.

Like virtually every European League, Serie A has been shut down since March as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Italy has been one of the world's worst-hit countries throughout the pandemic, but teams have recently been given government approval to begin group training sessions.

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In addition, Serie A  clubs have selected June 13 as the date the league is set to return from its suspension , following in the footsteps of the Bundesliga, which is set to resume play this weekend.

And a return to the game couldn't come any sooner for Balotelli, who is looking forward to escaping isolation and returning to the pitch.

“If you pass me the ball now, I am not able to get it under control with a first touch. It’s been two months since I touched the ball,” Balotelli told former team-mate Alessandro Matri as part of an Instagram Live discussion.

“I was going crazy the last couple of weeks, because I was totally alone. My daughter is in Naples, my son is in Zurich, my mother is of a certain age and needs to be protected, my brothers are in quarantine with their children, so I was left by myself. It was tough.

“It’s impossible to train properly if you don’t have a running machine, so even though it wasn’t really allowed, I went to the park near me to do a little running.”

While the time alone has been difficult, there has been one other aspect of quarantine that has been particularly difficult for Balotelli.

The Brescia forward says he is not a very good cook, and his diet has certainly suffered over the last few weeks.

“I was basically eating cardboard and trying to bite chunks out of the wall for the first three days, as I can’t cook anything," he said. "Fortunately, I then managed to get food delivered.”

Balotelli's Brescia sit in last place in Serie A, with the forward scoring five goals in his 19 appearances in league play.

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