Mario Balotelli's reputation often precedes him, with stories of his madcap hijinks often exaggerated beyond recognition. However one of the all-time great Balotelli stunts has not only been confirmed to be true, but actually worse than it was reported at the time.
We're talking about firework-gate here. The story goes, as you all surely know by now, that during his Manchester City days back in 2011 the striker decided to celebrate Fireworks Night by launching a few rockets from the window of his rented mansion. Carnage, as you can imagine, ensued.
At the time Manchester City played down the story, and insisted that it was Balotelli's friend who let off the fireworks - now though the full extent of the incident has been revealed.
Pictures of the incident revealed today by the Daily Mail show his badly fire-damaged bathroom, hall and bedroom. The "substantial" blaze which was dealt with by 10 firefighters even melted the bath and repairing the damage cost an eye-watering £400,000. Balotelli moved out of the house while the damage was fixed.
In true Balotelli style, the following day he bagged a brace in City's 6-1 win over Manchester United before revealing his now infamous "Why Always Me?" t-shirt.
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Balotelli left Manchester City to join AC Milan in 2013, but has now returned to the Premier League after a £16 million switch to Liverpool. He's got off to a stuttering start at Anfield, and is yet to find the back of the net in the Premier League. There's even been some suggestions that he could be sold in the January transfer window - although that is unlikely.
The Italian will have the chance to open his league account for Liverpool when they take on Newcastle at St. James' Park tomorrow.
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