In all of football, and perhaps in all of professional sport, there is no athlete quite as bonkers as Mario Balotelli. The Italian striker who stars for Manchester City has provided football fans and tabloids alike with enough batty material to fill a career. Here are ten of his maddest moments.
The Backheel Against the L.A. Galaxy
In a pre-season friendly against the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer last July, Mario casually dribbled towards the goal, turn his back to the keeper, and executed perhaps the most indifferent backheel in the history of football. His coach Roberto Mancini immediately subbed him out for the laissez-faire display.
Even The Great Ones Have To Go
If you’re a world famous multi-millionaire in need of a toilet, you generally think of stopping off at the local university, right? That’s exactly what Mario did in January when he asked the students in the canteen of Xaverian College where he could find the loo. After milling around for a minutes, Mario drove off with his mates in his white Bentley, leaving the students wondering what had just happened.
Mario Doesn’t Care For Bullies
Wanting to get involved in the international fight against bullying, Balotelli drove a truant student who was being harassed back to his school to confront the bully. A man of the people.
Continuing his humanitarian efforts, Mario gave a homeless man £1,000 after winning £25,000 at a Manchester casino. No word on how it was spent.
Darts Champion Too?
You wouldn’t expect a man who fights bullying and homelessness to attempt to injure people out of boredom. But Mario’s not your average fellow. While watching the Man City youth team practice at their facility, a bored Mario flung darts at the players in an effort to liven up the day. No one was hurt. Perhaps he should stick to footy.
A Daytrip To The Women’s Prison
Not often does one get the chance to see how the fairer of the species manage in correctional facilities, so Mario took his kid brother to a women’s prison in Milan. Said Balotelli, “I told my brother: ‘Do you want to see a prison? Then I went in.” They were predictably detained for trespassing. You can’t even make these things up.
There’s No AC In Inter
Appearing on Italian television Mario donned an AC Milan shirt, which would seem perfectly reasonable given his profession. However, he was currently employed by their bitterest of rivals, Inter.
Given his childlike enthusiasm, it surprises few that Mario also displays other less lovable childlike qualities. Like, when he struggled to don his training bib while warming up for a match. An assistant had to offer his sartorial skills to Mario twice. I hope he knows how they work by now.
Fireworks Are An Outdoor Activity
Mario Balotelli nearly burnt his house down after lighting fireworks in the bathroom. What more can you say?
Why Always Me?
Two days after the fireworks incident, Mario scored the first goal of the Manchester Derby and lifted his jersey to reveal a shirt that read “Why always me?”. I will leave the complex philosophies of that inquiry for the reader to consider.