Opinionated, impetuous and unrepressed, Manchester City troublemaker Mario Balotelli is apparently making the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The 21 year old attacker is known for his negative antics on and off the pitch but Mario Balotelli has many other sides; he can be good at times, ‘playful’ as well as naughty; from throwing darts at youth team players to bringing an iPad to the bench during an international game to rescuing a child from a bully. Balotelli has accomplished quite a lot (in terms of his troublemaking of course) in his 21 year stay on earth thus far; a record, fellow bad boys Antonio Cassano, Joey Barton and Paul Gascoigne can only envy. Below, I take a look at some highlights of his career thus far and some of his best quotes as well.
Survived a usually fatal disease at birth (problems with his intestines)
Had a trial at Barcelona in 2005 but he failed to impress
His car has been impounded 27 times (the last time I checked)
Won 25, 000 pounds in a casino, gave 1,000 pounds to a beggar outside
Threw tomatoes at some Serie A manager
Threw water ballons during a Serie A meeting
Started a fight with four bouncers, after breaking the no touching rule at a strip club
Started fights with City team mates Vincent Kompany, Jerome Boateng and Carlos Tevez at training
Was frequently seen at the AC Milan superstore while playing for Inter
Went on TV in an AC shirt with his name embossed at the back while he was still an Inter player
In an U21 game for Italy, Mario kicked a Swedish player while he was down and proceeded to just sit on the pitch ignoring the opposition and the referee for about a minute. He was offended when he got sent off and protested about it
He winked at Rio Ferdinand after the FA cup semi-final victory over Manchester United and celebrated in front of the Man Utd fans
Was man of the match in the FA Cup final win over Stoke City in 2011
Had to go off at half time in a Europa game in Ukraine due to an allergy to the grass on the pitch
Had to be physically hauled away by Javier Zanetti for refusing to let Samuel Eto’o take a penalty that he had won
Once broke up with his girlfriend via text while she was presenting a live television show
Slept with a model downstairs while his girlfriend was asleep upstairs
Drove his car into a women’s prison in Italy without permission so he could ‘take a look around’
Brought an iPad to bench during an international friendly
Drove around Manchester high fiving City fans from his car the day after the 1-6 mauling of Manchester United
Hands 20 pound notes out to strangers when in Manchester
Attempted an unnecessary back heel win the 28th minute in a preseason game against LA Galaxy. He was promptly subbed by a fuming Roberto Mancini.
Went through a hell of time putting a training bib on
Mario became the youngest Inter player to score in the Champions League back in 2008 when he hit the back of the net in a game against Anorthosis Famagusta.
In April 2009, Balotelli was racially abused by Juventus fans as they chanted “Black Italians do not exist”. Mario scored in that game which ended 1-1 and Juve was punished accordingly.
He scored on his City debut in a 1-0 away win in the Europa League against SC Timisoara, got injured in that same game and was subsequently out of action for two months
TOP 5 MARIO BALOTELLI QUOTES
1. “Because I’m rich”
MY COMMENT: Mario crushed his Audi R8 car less than 15 days after he had arrived in England. Upon searching, British police found 5,000 pounds in his back pocket. When he was asked why he was carrying so much money with him (for a 20 year old), he blatantly replied, “Because I’m rich”!
2. “No, I don’t know him, but the next time I play Arsenal, I will keep a close eye on him, and perhaps I can show him my Golden Boy trophy and remind him that I won it”.
MY COMMENT: Show of arrogance here? The Italian international claims he does not know Jack Wilshere after he (Mario) won the award for the best young player in 2010. Jackass Mario doesn’t know Jack? He also delivered another legendary line…”Who else should have won it apart from me?” He’s so full of himself, the Italian.
3. “Mourinho is the best coach in the world but as a man he still needs to learn manners and respect”. Roberto Mancini is the most important coach I’ve ever had. He’ll soon become the No 1 in the world. But already now, in terms of human qualities, he is two kilometres ahead of Mourinho. Wait, make that ten kilometres.
MY COMMENT: Wonders shall never end they say. Look who’s talking about manners and respect here. Irony?
4. “Silvio Berlusconi is wrong or knows little of Balotelli”
MY COMMENT: AC Milan supremo, Silvio Berlusconi declared that Antonio Cassano was the best Italian talent of recent times and Mario Balotelli seemed not to agree with him.
5. “Rooney! Rooney!! Rooney!!!”
MY COMMENT: Jenny Thompson, the prostitute Wayne Rooney slept with was having lunch at a restaurant. Balotelli started to chant “Rooney! Rooney!” at the prostitute upon seeing her.
CONCLUSION: Mario Balotelli is a world class talent, no doubt. The petulant attacker is a 24-carat gold and cost Manchester City around 24 million pounds but his behavior could also cost the oil rich Manchester club if he’s not controlled. He has already proven his worth as a striker scoring goals when he has the opportunity. One may not need a byakugan to see what lies ahead for the poster boy of parking fines but I hope he changes for the better.
NB: This piece was not set to celebrate idiocy but to reflect on the various facet of Mario Balotelli’s life.
Credit to Nyamekye Emany for indirectly giving me the idea.
References for quotes and facts: telegraph.co.uk and wikipedia
This guest article was written for Socceringhana by Emmanuel Ekow Firmer Ampiah (@donfirmer).