Describing Mario Balotelli as a maverick is like saying Sara Carbonero is ‘alright looking’. The Manchester City striker is a loose cannon but as he showed against Germany when he’s in the mood he can be unstoppable.
When asked why he often refuses to celebrate Balotelli replied
‘When I score, I don’t celebrate because I’m only doing my job. When a postman delivers letters, does he celebrate?’
Wise words Mario. Very rarely did we ever see Postman Pat doing a ‘Ravanelli’ down the street.
His brace in the Euro 2012 semi-final has put Italy 90 minutes away from lifting the trophy and his second goal was an absolute rocket. His thumping right-foot shot had left his boot and hit the back of the net before Neuer could blink.
Earlier on in the tournament the 21-year-old came on as a substitute against the Irish and scored another super goal. John O’Shea’s defending lacked any kind of gumption but Balotelli still had a lot to do with his back to goal. Luckily Leonardo Bunicci was conscious enough of Mario’s mental nature to cover his mouth before he shouted something vaguely offensive or sexist.
In a Premier League game against Norwich last season Balotelli saw his original shot saved by keeper John Ruddy. 99.9% of other players would have nodded in the rebound as it fell towards goal. Not Mario.
Unfortunately it doesn’t always go well for Super Mario as shown in a pre-season friendly against MLS giants LA Galaxy. Balotelli was through on goal and decided to give a big two fingers up to America by taking the piss. Mancini, clearly concerned about international relations, hauled him off and gave him a bollocking much to the commentators delight.
Simple things can often baffle even the smartest men. During a warm-up with City, Mario made a complete hash of putting his training bib on, not once but twice. It’s rumoured Sheikh Mansour has since splashed out £180,000-a-week on someone to help dress the star striker.
Luckily it’s not just his antics on the pitch that Balotelli is well renowned for. There are endless stories of him visiting women’s prisons, handing money out to tramps and setting fireworks off in his bathroom.
Here’s a brilliant video of our favourite striker taking some time out from football to scare the living daylights out of an old woman.
Mario has three goals in the tournament and is now the 11/8 favourite to win the golden boot. His Italy side are 6/4 outsiders though to beat Spain in the final on Sunday. Paddy Power is also offering 3/1 that Italy lift the trophy and Balotelli secures the golden boot.