''A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma:'' Winston Churchill's famous description of Russia could easily be applied to Mario Balotelli.
With one important difference: Hidden inside the jumble of myths, stories and questions that Balotelli lugs around with him is a fabulous footballer. Is, not was. It will be great for him and for football if he now gets to prove that again at AC Milan.
When headline-hungry tabloids were picking over his off-field life in England and toward the end of his stint with Manchester City, when he wasn't playing or contributing as much to the team, it became easy to forget just how thrilling Balotelli can be with a ball at his feet, a player who not only can make fans stomp in delight but also scratch their heads and laugh in disbelief.
Against Norwich City, remember that goal he scored with his shoulder? Other strikers would have headed in the ball. Balotelli, just to be safe, probably should have done, too.
Safe? How boring. Balotelli nudge...