Mario Balotelli’s time at Manchester City was certainly a memorable one.
From bust-ups with Roberto Mancini to setting off fireworks in his own house, you could pretty safely anticipate that a wild or eccentric story would come out about the Italian on a weekly basis.
However, in many ways, Balotelli also played some of his best football at the Etihad Stadium and maintained his status as one of the world’s finest young players before things eventually fizzled out.
Balotelli’s eventful career
Besides, one can’t help looking back on those promising days in the Premier League with a shade of sadness when you consider the degree to which Balotelli’s career has plateaued recently.
Long gone are the days of Balotelli tearing it up for the Citizens and in are the days of spells in Serie B with Monza and away from the limelight with Adana Demirspor in Turkey.
We can only hope that Balotelli will return to the top level once again, but even if that’s not the case, football fans can always look back on some of his finest moments in a sky blue jersey.
LIVERPOOL VS MAN CITY! (Football Terrace)
Balotelli’s Man City pomp
And one that we wanted to focus on today took place in Balotelli’s finest campaign with City, which ultimately ended in him providing his only ever Premier League assist for that Sergio Aguero winner.
Balotelli scored an impressive 17 goals in 32 appearances throughout the 2011/12 season with 13 strikes coming in the Premier League – and that included a goal of pure badassery.
During a stunning league campaign in which City won all but one of their home games, Mancini’s men swept aside Norwich City in an emphatic 5-1 victory where Balotelli scored the sixth goal.
Balotelli’s shoulder goal
Was it with his right foot? Left foot? Head? Nope, none of the above, because Balotelli decided to score one of the Premier League’s most nonchalant ever goals courtesy of his shoulder.
Yes, that’s right, once Balotelli’s initial effort had been thwarted by John Ruddy and ball duly looped up in the air towards goal, the Italian decided to casually shoulder it into the net – check it out here:
It couldn’t be anyone else, could it? It had to be Balotelli.
Balotelli: Pure entertainment
Now, to be fair, Balotelli was so close to goal that there wasn’t too much jeopardy, but it would only have taken a lesser footballer to get the timing slightly wrong and disaster could have struck.
Besides, lest we forget that Balotelli attempted a similarly outrageous finish earlier that season in which a roulette-like shot against LA Galaxy saw him hauled off by Mancini for showboating.
Thankfully, that wasn’t necessarily this time around because Balotelli had everything under control and it made for a goal that will feature in compilations and montages for years to come.
Regardless of what you think about Balotelli and how his career has panned out since leaving Manchester, there’s no denying that he supplied plenty of entertainment along the way.