Cristian Brocchi’s side fell short of the top flight after they were unable to overturn a three-goal first leg deficit, despite a third-place finish
Mario Balotelli will be left to consider his football future in the wake of Monza’s failure to achieve promotion to Serie A following their play-off exit to Cittadella on Thursday.
The former Italy international was arguably the flagship name among an ambitious squad looking to make it back-to-back leaps up the league ladder Stadio Brianteo this term.
But a 3-0 first leg deficit against Roberto Venturato’s sixth-place side proved too much to overcome, despite the 30-year-old netting almost helping them to a second leg comeback in a 2-0 victory.
Balotelli’s Monza move, explained
The striker, a relatively unsettled presence across the latter stages of his career since he quit Nice at the start of 2019, arrived at the newly-promoted outfit in December on a six-month contract.
Balotelli, in part, returned to reunite with several figures from his days with Milan, including owner and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, along with ex-coach Cristian Brocchi.
With a dozen league appearances since his arrival, plus both play-off games, he has produced six goals overall for the club, helping them mount an ambitious challenge to reach Serie A.
What happens next
With only a short-term deal signed, questions around Balotelli’s future will undoubtedly arise, but Monza will undoubtedly aim to go one better next term.
Having challenged at the top end of the table in their first season back in Serie B, fans will remain hopeful that they can replicate such a charge again.
Cittadella meanwhile will look to make it to Serie A for the first time in their near-50-year history, having last contested the play-off final two years ago when they lost to Verona.