Football: The best and worst of the (often) brilliant Mario Balotelli


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SoccerThe best and worst of the (often) awesome Mario Balotelli

During his turbulent career, the Italian footballer has often oscillated between pure genius and strokes of madness. Here is the Best of Mario Balotelli, new star recruit of FC Sion.

Mario Balotelli (here in the Liverpool jersey) will be the new attraction of the Swiss championship.

Mario Balotelli (here in the Liverpool jersey) will be the new attraction of the Swiss championship.

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From Italy to Turkey, via England and France, Mario Balotelli, now 32,

has « seen the country » and especially a lot of talk about him (for good or bad) wherever he went. The former Italian international and new FC Sion player also experienced a peak during his time in England in the Manchester City jersey, where he performed his finest « antics ».

« Super Mario » is also golden feet, crazy goals and a record that can be seen: three times Italian champion and winner of the Champions League with Inter, English champion with Manchester City , 36 caps with the Italian national team (14 goals), which he represented at Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup.

Here is the Best of “Super Mario” through time:

All “Super Mario” Clubs

2006: Lumezzane (2 games, 0 goals)

2007-2010: Inter Milan (59m, 20g)

2010-2013: Manchester City (54m, 20g)

2013-2014: AC Milan (43m, 26b)

2014-2016: Liverpool (16m, 1b)

2015-2016: AC Milan (on loan, 20m, 1b)

2016-2019: OGC Nice (61m, 33g)

2019: Olympique de Marseille (15m, 9b)

2019-2020: Brescia (19m, 5g)

2020-2021: Monza/Italy, Serie B (12m, 5g)

2021-2022: Adana Demirspor/Turkey (33m, 18g)

Mourinho’s 14-minute speech

September 2009: “The most problematic players are often very funny. With Mario, it was funny,” said José Mourinho, his former coach at Inter. The Portuguese, current coach of Roma, has a lot of affection for ‘Super Mario’. “I could write a 200-page book on him, said the “Mou”. But you know what? This book would not be a drama, but a comedy. I remember a match in Kazan in the Champions League. All my attackers were injured. Mario was the only one I had left. He received a yellow card in the 42nd minute or 43rd minute. So at halftime, I think I spent 14 minutes of the 15 minutes available just to talk to him. I said to him: Mario, I can’t change you, I don’t have any strikers on the bench, so don’t touch anyone and only play with the ball. If we lose the ball, no reaction. If someone provokes you, no reaction. If the referee makes a mistake, no reaction. Mario, please… 46th minute, red card!”

F1 instead of the meeting

Another anecdote served by José Mourinho during their common years at Inter. « Super Mario » even allowed himself to pose a rabbit to his trainer. “I wanted to have a meeting with him and I had called him to my office at 2 p.m., Mourinho said a few years after the fact. At the agreed time, he was not there. So I phoned him. When he answered me, he was in Formula 1 qualifying at Monza. I tell him: Mario, you were supposed to be at my office at 2 p.m. And there, he answers me: yes but coach, meetings we can do every day. The Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix is ​​only once a year. At the time, of course, as a coach, you can’t take it lightly. But after the fact, a few days later, I admit that it made me laugh.

The plastic gun

June 2010: Mario Balotelli fires shots at the sky in Republic Square in Milan. The police intervene and steal his weapon, which happens to be a plastic pistol.

Pissed off with his chasuble

March 2011: Mario Balotelli makes a fool of himself in front of the TV cameras for a silly chasuble story during the warm-up for a match against Dynamo kyiv. Twice, a member of the Manchester City staff had to help him put on a chasuble, before the Italian lost patience and threw it to the ground. Later in the game, “Super Mario” will be sent off in the 36th minute. Dirty day.

Mario plays darts

March 2011: Mario Balotelli is under internal investigation at Manchester City for throwing darts from the first floor at the club’s youngsters. City announces in stride that no one was injured. But Super Mario, who just wanted to have a good laugh, gets a hefty fine from the club.

For the beauty of the gesture

July 2011: During a friendly match against the Los Angeles Galaxy, Mario Balotelli only has to push the ball into the back of the net, alone a few meters from goal. Instead, he decides to add more: he executes an unnecessary roulette and tries to kick the ball with his heel. His attempt misses the target miserably. His teammates are furious. Out of it, coach Roberto Mancini replaces him.

« Why always me? »

October 2011: In the victory over Manchester United, Mario Balotelli opens the scoring. Tired of seeing his name in the media for his extra-sporting setbacks, the Italian lifts his jersey and reveals a t-shirt on which is written “Why always me? (« Why always me? »). Legendary.

fireworks at home

October 2011: Mario Balotelli’s house goes up in flames on the outskirts of Manchester. The reason for the fire? The Italian striker shoots fireworks from his bathroom and sets a bath towel on fire. Estimated damage: 600,000 euros. However, it started with a good intention…

The historic title pass of 2012

May 2012: Mario Balotelli achieves the only assist of his season in a Manchester City jersey. But this one comes at the best time. To become champions of England for the first time since 1968, the Citizen need a home goal against Queens Park Rangers. Last action of the match, in stoppage time. Balotelli managed to push the ball with his foot, at the edge of the surface, in the direction of the Argentinian Sergio Agüero. The rest is history, although Balotelli would later confess: “I wanted to try to shoot”. Holy Mario!

Mario turns into a statue

June 2012: In the semi-finals of Euro 2012 against Germany, Balotelli shoots Manuel Neuer with a missile in the skylight. To celebrate this fantastic goal, he takes off his shirt, contracts his muscles and thinks he’s a statue. The pose of the Italian goes around the world.

One last bump for the road

August 27: And hop, a last confusion for the road (that of Valais). This time, Balotelli falls out with his own coach, the Italian Vincenzo Montella, at the end of a match with the Turkish team of Adana Demirspor. The next day, a plane with Balotelli on board brought the player back to Brescia, Italy….



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