In financial markets, it is Mario Draghi, the monotone Italian that heads the European Central Bank, who has earned the nickname “Super Mario”. However, another Italian, more befitting to the name “Super Mario”, has Liverpool fans including myself much more excited, the enigmatic Mario Balotelli. In a world of central bank largesse and easy money, £16 million for a proven goal scorer in England, Italy and on the international stage is a bargain. Of course with any investment there is risk. The real question is whether you understand the risk, can it be managed and does the potential reward sufficiently outweigh the potential costs of making that investment. Remember, it is the mispricing of risk where opportunities are created!
In the case of Balotelli, the current valuation reflects the market’s perception that he is high risk, a potentially disruptive influence. While Balotelli has yet to bite anyone he is prone to moments of madness. At Manchester City, Roberto Mancini once said “I don’t speak with him every day because otherwise I would need a psychologist”. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers sees an opportunity though, confident in his own ability to reform so-called ‘difficult’ strikers, following his success with the SAS. Time will tell, but I can see Super Mario becoming a Kop hero under Rodgers. In the meantime, he’ll get to see his new teammates overturn his old club at the Etihad tonight!