Mario Balotelli to Liverpool has been confirmed and the circus that follows Super Mario's immense talent is back in England. To compose a memoir of his antics, you’d need a novel. But here are a few that stick out particularly. Welcome back, Mario!
Jose Mourinho shed light to a dressing room story of Balotelli in a Champions League game about how Balo was the only striker left in the squad due to injuries.
“Mario got a yellow card in the 42nd minute, so when I got to the dressing room at half-time I spend about 14 minutes of the 15 available speaking only to Mario,” Mourinho said.
“I said to him: ‘Mario, I cannot change you, I have no strikers on the bench, so don’t touch anybody and play only with the ball. If we lose the ball no reaction. If someone provokes you, no reaction, if the referee makes a mistake, no reaction.' The 46th minute – red card!”
When Balotelli made the £22.5 million move from Inter to Manchester City, England was introduced to Super Mario.
On his way to training in 2010, he crashed his Audi R8. It was found that he had £5,000 in cash on him and a police officer questioned why. His response: “because I am rich.”
In 2011 he spoke about his old Inter boss.
“Mourinho is the best coach in the world, but as a man he still needs to learn manners and respect.”
Two months later he was fined for throwing a dart at a youth player. Thankfully his aim was off as nobody got hurt.
The next preseason, Balotelli was involved in a match against Los Angeles Galaxy. Balo was facing a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Instead of, you know just rolling it into the corner, he attempted a back heel and failed.
City boss Roberto Mancini promptly yanked him from the contest.
What then put him in the upper echelon of fascinating footballers, where Zlatan Ibrahimovic finally found someone that could even begin to match his track record, was when he started a fire by setting off fireworks in his bathroom. That’s when he was well and truly on everyone’s radar, non-football fans knew of his shenanigans.
As all eyes were on him immediately following the inferno, the Manchester Derby was imminent. Balotelli scored and lifted his jersey to find a "Why Always Me?" written on his undershirt.
Last year in Manchester
A few months past Balotelli appeared to stamp at Scott Parker’s head, landing him banned for four games.
Back with Italy in the European Championships he was, naturally, in the news. He willed his side to beat Germany in the semi-finals, scoring the winning goal and ripping his shirt off to flex.
"They weren't annoyed because I took my shirt off and got booked, they saw my physique and got jealous," Balotelli said. Maybe one of his many self-proclaimed talents is being humble.
Next January, a year on from his four game ban, he was involved in a training ground dust up with Mancini. The two needed to be separated by other coaches. That was it for Balo as he was deported back to Milan, this time donning the red and black stripes of AC Milan for £19million.
The team were traveling via train, Balotelli was caught smoking in the bathroom by a ticket man.
Then after the World Cup, Mario was awarded some one-on-one time with Pope Francis.