The Italy City striker will wear the names of his ancestral and adopted families on the back of his jersey. He officially registered for the tournament under both family names, according to the Mail.
Balotelli was born in Sicily, Italy to Ghanaian parents as Mario Barwuah. When he was a toddler he was adopted by an Italian family, who raised him.
The 21-year-old has is expected to play a key role for Italy at Euro 2012. He has made headlines on the eve of his first major international tournament by promising to walk off the field if he suffers racial abuse. He then vowed to kill any racists who confront him off the field.
There may not be any connection between his words and the decision to play under both family names. But it’s not out of the question. It could be a sign of a young man coming of age — and coming to grips with his own past — under the microscope of international stardom.