Can you believe that not everyone likes Balotelli? It’s true; alongside the whole red section of Manchester there are many who see him as an arrogant prima donna who’s over paid and under-skilled. Those people are right.
But don’t take your hate out on Balotelli. He is one of hundreds of players who fit that description above and none of those useless fellows give us anywhere near the entertainment.
But we were mean to him. The Sun bullied him with stories we wished were true but weren’t, he was given a bad impression by our “Press, weather, food, and driving” – and now he’s gone.
So whether you miss him or are glad to see the back of his Mohican head let’s look back at some (true) moments that could only be Mario.
The Trafford Center is the main shopping mall of Manchester, and like all similar places there are ‘performers’ in it. Performers like a magician that Balotelli plucked out of his routine and to teach the player magic. “I took him alone and I say to him ‘listen I invite you to my house so you can teach me'”. Oh come on, as if you’ve never wanted to invite the crazy lady with the cage of ferrets into your home.
Eyebrows were raised when Balotelli smashed his Audi R8 into a Beemer in Manchester soon after joining City. During the routine police inspection after the incident, Balo was found to have £5000 on him. When they asked him why he had such a sum of money he responded, completely deadpan, with the Marmite line “Because I am rich”.
Another humourous moment came in a Europa League game with Dynamo Kiev. Balotelli didn’t appear on the pitch for the second half due to his face and legs swelling up as he had an allergic reaction to the Ukrainian pitch. It was around this time that ‘only Mario’ come into use.
So a few months before the end of the season Inter Milan (Mario’s former team) were unveiling their new manager Andrea Stramaccioni in a press conference when Balotelli just strolls up to the desk for a handshake. When Mancini was asked what he though of it, he said he didn’t even know Balotelli was in Italy.
Mancini vs Mario
The love/hate, father/son relationship between Mancini and Mario was one of the funnest bits of the player’s time in England; Mancini always trying to keep his cool (Except when he swore in an interview)as his crazy project frequently threw spanners in the works. We all knew when Balotelli’s days were number when the two got in a physical altercation though.
Speaking of swearing, Balotelli also dropped a naughty bomb on live tele. And he did it in the best possible manner too: “All my season was shit… can I say that?‘
Balotelli found around a female prison in Italy was the sort of story we had come to expect by the time it broke. It wasn’t one of The Sun’s many lies though. According to the man himself, he and his brother were invited to a male prison but took a wrong turn. Of course they did.
After his mum caught wind of his wages and living conditions she did what any good mum would do. She sent Balotelli to John Lewis to get himself an ironing board. Of course, he came back in a lorry with a quadbike and trampoline.
Why Always Mario
The stuff of legends. The night before the Manchester derby, Balotelli is pulled from his house during a gathering by the fire department. The reason? Someone had let fireworks off in the bathroom. How do you set fire to a bathroom? Only Mario knows.
Cut to a few hours later and Vincent Kompany spots Mario putting something on his undershirt before the game. He tells Balotelli that if he scores early in the game he better not show it because they can’t risk the yellow card. Cut again to 22 minutes later as one of the Premier League’s most iconic images is born:
Goodbye Super Mario. You’re probably everything that’s wrong with football nowadays, but you were also one of the most entertaining players around.