If I was paid millions of pounds to kick a ball around a field once a week, I think that each and every morning I’d look into the sky and thank the heavens for such good luck and fortune, before proceeding to blow my money on extravagances such as hot air balloons and my own personal petting zoo.
Unfortunately, most footballers end up blowing their money on mundane things such as booze and prostitutes, and the closest they get to being even remotely interesting is when they’re off shagging one another’s wives. Thank God for ‘Super’ Mario Balotelli, then, who has both angered and delighted the football world with his mischievous streak and his penchant for controversy, for adding a bit of personality into the mix with his ludicrous antics.
With that being said, here are the top 7 said ludicrous antics from Man City’s striker, encompassing everything from vacuum cleaners to trampolines.
7. “My Whole Season Has Been Shit”
While most players/managers tend to umm and ahh their way through post-match interviews following bad performances, Balotelli goes for the bluntly honest approach and puts his interviewer in an awkward position in the process. After a good game against Stoke in the FA Cup final, Super Mario is asked whether he felt his performance was his best of the season. His response? “My whole season has been shit”. Thanks, Mario; now over to Caroline with today’s weather.
6. Allergic to Grass
Balotelli retreated to the changing rooms in a Europa League game last season, admitting defeat to his one true weakness: grass.
Now I know what you’re thinking: considering his profession, Balotelli being allergic to grass is the equivalent of Superman being an employee in a Kryptonite mining facility. However, it turns out that the striker was actually telling the truth, with him being spotted the next day sporting sores across his face and body.
5. “Not Today, Mario”
Clearly Balotelli was unhappy with Samuel Eto’o taking the penalty against Palermo, seemingly throwing his toys out of his pram and refusing to move from the penalty spot. This initiated a frankly absurd exchange between him and Zanetti, who escorts the confused striker away by his hand like a child being led through a supermarket.
4. Car Crash
Two weeks following his signing to Manchester City, Balotelli crashed his Audi R8 near the training ground. Police arrived on the scene and questioned him, breathalysed him and searched him, finding £5,000 in his back pocket. When they asked why he had such a large amount of money in his pocket, Balotelli replied simply: “because I am rich”.
3. That Backheel
There is Balotelli the £100,000-a-week football star; there is Balotelli the comedian; but without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite Balotelli has to be Balotelli the man-child.
After Man City breaks through LA Galaxy’s defence and are through on goal, Super Mario decides it would be an opportunity time to show a little bit of flair and backheel the ball into the open net. Unfortunately his idea does not go to plan, and he is promptly substituted before throwing his bottle of water onto the pitch, folding his arms and sulking.
2. Mario Goes Shopping
After his Mom asked him to travel to John Lewis to fetch her a vacuum cleaner, Balotelli returned home with a van trailing behind him, which contained a trampoline and two vespa scooters. No vacuum though, unfortunately.
1. Mario Bib-otelli
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS