Love him or hate him, Mario Balotelli is without a doubt one of football’s all-time greatest off-pitch entertainers.
From dart-throwing to quad-bike racing, here are GMF’s top-five Balotelli moments of madness:
1 - Looking for a change of scenery from his lavish apartment in Manchester’s city centre, Balotelli opted for a move to the more sophisticated and elegant Alderley Edge, Cheshire.
garden of his rented mansion into a quad-bike racetrackDespite the sheer luxury of his new home, the controversial Italian apparently decided to convert the lush .
Whether or not these reports are true, such a preposterous story could only be the work of Super Mario.
2 - Reportedly earning £120,000-a-week while at Manchester City, it must be assumed that Balotelli can afford to be generous, particularly during the festive period.
In December 2011, the ex-City striker defined the meaning of Christmas. Donning a blue Santa hat, the merry Italian supposedly drove around the streets of Manchester handing out gifts and cash to strangers.
The generous striker no doubt made Christmas 2011 unforgettable. One particularly thrilled recipient, John Petto, claimed through Twitter that he had “been handed a toastie maker by Mario Balotelli” during the Milan star’s gift-sharing spree.
Perhaps John would have preferred one of the bundles of cash Balotelli was also giving away, but it’s the thought that counts.
3 - One of Balotelli’s more evil antics, the Premier League star reportedly threw a dart at a group of the Manchester club’s youth players from a first-story window because he was “bored”.
Although the actions of the Italian forward got a laugh out of a few, he is lucky nobody was hurt in a foolish incident that was deemed an immature prank by the club’s management.
Manchester City’s youth players can now breathe easy following the dart-wielding striker’s exit from the Etihad Stadium.
4 - The erratic behaviour of the Milan striker has often flabbergasted football fans worldwide, and few of his antics can measure up to the infamous fireworks accident.
A friend of Balotelli’s is said to have been shooting fireworks out the Italian’s bathroom window, which then ignited “a substantial fire” that caused considerable damage to his home.
Luckily escaping without injuries, the Milan recruit expressed deep concern for the safety hazard triggered by his friend’s foolish behaviour.
Amazingly just a few days later, as Manchester’s new ambassador for fireworks safety, Balotelli warned that "it is important children should not mess with fireworks. They can be very dangerous if they are not used in the right way”.
Although he does not consider the incident funny himself, this is the kind of amusing tomfoolery that makes the eccentric forward such a likeable character.
5 - Just a few months after his move from Manchester to Milan, the Italian decided to decorate his new Brescia abode with a life-sized statue of himself.
Super Mario apparently wishes to "immortalise" himself through a sculpture in “a pose that shows him having scored a goal, highlighting his muscles and with an expression of defiance”.
It's unlikely the 22-year-old will need an expensive bronze statue to preserve him. Aside from his football career, the countless acts of crazy, outlandish, and even sometimes-generous behaviour will suffice.
There are a seemingly infinite number of hysterical events involving the mischievous Italian…Share your favourite Balotelli story in the comments below!
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