Depression, homosexuality, racism and Mario Balotelli: the secret life of Serie A

Gazzetta dello Sport has conducted a survey into the habits of Serie A players, touching upon subjects such as racism depression, homosexuality and of course, no such survey would be complete without a question about Mario Balotelli.

With the full agreement of several Italian clubs Gazzetta sent out 50 questionnaires to unnamed between May and September.

Of the 50 polled, 29 players said that depression was a problem, with 12 ticking the box marked: “Have you ever had to live with depression?”

Among those polled, 36% said they’d heard a team-mate make a racist comment during a Serie A game. However, only 2 out of the 50 believe that black players find it harder than their white counterparts to forge a career in football.

As for homosexuality, 34% of those questioned believe that a gay player would be treated differently by team-mates and fans – and that his career would suffer as a consequence. Three of the 50 players stated that they’ve played alongside team-mates who admitted being gay.

And as for the most overrated player, well, the recipient of that unwanted award was Mario Balotelli. He, along with Inter’s Mauro Icardi and fellow Argentine Ezequiel Schelotto, formerly of Inter, now with Sassuolo, garnered the most votes in that category.