Rob Jones, MSN Sport
23/01/2012 15:08 | By Rob Jones, producer, MSN Sport

Why always him?

Mario Balotelli, Manchester City (© PA)

Mario Balotelli is, once again, in the headlines for his on-the-field heroics and villainies.

The Italian was only on the pitch for 30 minutes of Manchester City's Premier League clash with Spurs yet still managed to have all eyes pointing to him in the aftermath.

With seven minutes to go and all things tied at 2-2, the 21-year-old lost his balance after shooting caught Tottenham's Scott Parker with a flailing boot.

At first glance it appeared that the collision was accidental as the Manchester City striker fell to the floor, but replays suggested he regained his balance before deliberately kicking out at the unassuming Tottenham midfielder's head.

As if this controversy was not enough to grab the headlines, Balotelli then won and converted a 94th minute penalty to ensure that it was him, and him alone, that had cornered the entire back pages of Monday's press.

Mario Balotelli effigy, Manchester City (© PA)

The former Inter Milan player came to Manchester already with a reputation of controversy and this was compounded four months after his arrival to the Premier League when he won the Golden Boy Award, given to the best under-21 player, saying that only one of its past winners was slightly better than he was. That person...three-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi. He also claimed not to have even heard of Arsenal's Jack Wilshere, who he narrowly beat to the award.

On and off the field Balotelli has achieved evident notoriety since his £24 million move to the Etihad Stadium. Red cards against Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion and Dynamo Kiev are counter-balanced by a Man of the Match performance during an FA Cup final win, a goal every other game record and his side's two opening goals in the 6-1 demolition of their Manchester neighbours. The first of these well-taken strikes was celebrated by revealing a t-shirt with the words 'Why always me?' emblazoned on it, in response to the various tabloid rumours about him.

Within days of touching down in the UK, Balotelli was involved in a car crash. It was reported that he was carrying £5,000 cash to which a police officer queried why with Balotelli replying, "Because I am rich".

And reportedly earning £180,000 a week, he is. However, his wealth is also matched by his generosity. The enigmatic forward once gave £1,000 cash to a homeless man and over Christmas he donated £200 to his local church and then visited a pub in Chorlton where he bought a £1,000 round.

Another Balotelli tale involved the Italian picking up a truant schoolboy in his Bentley, taking him back to school and confronting the head teacher about the bullying to which the boy was being subjected.

Mario Balotelli, Manchester City (© PA)

Balotelli once went to a women's prison 'just to see what it was like', and drove his car right up to Manchester City's Carrington training ground's automatic doors, just to see if they would still open.

Last November, on the day before a match, a firework was set off in Balotelli's home and the fire emergency services had to be called, but without even a continental shrug of the shoulders he was later that week unveiled as an ambassador for a national firework safety campaign, before a 40ft effigy of him was burned at the annual fireworks display at Edenbridge, Kent.

These modern day football fables have obviously concerned and bemused his coach and fellow countryman Roberto Mancini, who is as clueless about his behavior as the rest of us mesmerised football fans, "He is a strange man. A good man, a kind man, but I do not understand him. It feels as if I need my own special translator, just for Mario."

But as long as for every quad bike track in his front garden there is a goal scored with his shoulder, we do not mind. If E4 want to commission another reality soap, then it's got to be The Only Way Is Mario. I, for one, would series link it.

1 of 11
John Ruddy
23/01/2012 18:13
No wonder he has training ground bust ups.......the city players work their proverbials off but he is a prima dona of the highest order.....they should ditch the spoilt brat.....the stamp on Scott Parker was deliberate cowardly and could have done Parker eye damage.......If he didn't have a talent for football he would be behind bars 
23/01/2012 18:02
Always him? Always him that plays dirty.
23/01/2012 18:13
Balotelli is nothing more than an arrogant basterd who thinks hes the best player in the world,he could'nt tie jimmy greaves bootlace's.Man city should be deducted two points because balotelli should have been sent off for the stamp on parker.
23/01/2012 18:17

one of the worst people on the planet, abuse arrogant self centered and angry, and he is like a spoil child that always whats his way or not at all.


should be thrown out of football, and no im not a red or any other prem footy fan either before others start.

23/01/2012 18:09
Hope he plays on Wednesday and hope Liverpool play Bellamy,if this happens everyone should get a bet on him getting sent off.Bellamy is a master of wind up and lets face it,it don;t take much to wind up the Italian with a haircut that looks like a sample from carpet world
24/01/2012 03:34

Come on Andrew.


If the roles were reversed and it was Scott Parker claiming it was accidental, we may believe it. But Balotelli has done this time and time again. He just seems to have that 'switch' that sees him lash out....why???.... I have no idea!!!


I am a City fan and I think the guy has something special. He is an incredible finisher and seems to be able to find a yard to shoot as well as anyone, even though he is not that fast. But until he gets over this instinct to lash out, he will always be more a liability than an asset. 


Mancini's problem now is he could have another Tevez on his hands in that they won't get back what they paid and he is on a BIG money contract, so he can't say what he surely thinks!   

23/01/2012 18:33
suarez got a 10 match ban for calling names, Balotelli will get away with this incredible back kick and could have blinded a player intentionally or even worse as it was  kick to the head, will the FA act, hell no, they won't act on aggressive assault, on the streets that would have been classed as GBH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! disgraceful
23/01/2012 20:01
Credit has to be given to Scott Parker in all of this, how many Premier League players would have screamed and rolled around on the floor for minutes even after the smallest of brushes to the head by a players boots? Scott Parker sat up and got on with it like the quality footballing professional he is!
23/01/2012 18:50
This young fool, stamps on a mans head then pops a t shirt out asking why always me?? 

What a moron...       Just incase it isnt totaly obvious.... the answer is because he's a dirty player. He's nopt as good as he is told he is..  Which is why he gets frustrated and lashes out. Because he's told he is great.. he thinks he can lash out...   He is a primadonna...       Like beckham..  Just a gimmik . 

If he had a brain, he would have kept his t shirt down.. But not having the class or discipline of a gentleman , he couldnt resist asking an ironicaly retorical question , which he arrogantly wore in antisipation of some lime ligtht , across his  illegal tshirt.

I know ,man city fans would thumb me down if they were capable of reading this.   ( dont bother correcting my spelling)
23/01/2012 18:22

Drum him out of the game in England.

He's an animal, ban him now.

Mancini and the FA should act immediately, ship him out.


23/01/2012 17:58
The man is a quality player but he is also an absolute w**k*r. He should concentrate on playing football what he is best at.
23/01/2012 18:34
Scott Parker should sue him in court, then the FA would act against this bully boy tactics
23/01/2012 18:01
Balotelli is a good player. He shouldn't do that. It may have won him the penalty that won the match but that is not a reward for dirty playing. He should focus on tackling properly.
23/01/2012 18:38
Money breeds arrogance, and that's all he is,  arrogant, thinks he can get away with anything, if he doesn't , he don't care, ...he's being paid enough not to care
23/01/2012 18:07
23/01/2012 19:42
If that was an accident, Cantona was just trying to remove a fly from that poor Palace fans nose!
Super Mario or Super Villain ? Neither he's Super Smug.
23/01/2012 18:27
ballotelli should be banned for rest of  season  that  was dirty  cowardly   stamp on guy who was down police should be involved    he is thug  if that happened on terraces   there would  be hell to pay   italian thug    
23/01/2012 19:39

One ref two linesmen who are also refs plus another ref and none of them seen it happen,

specksavers comes to mind but my opinion is that the FA should lookinto this diabolical behaviour and ban balotelli for five games. as a liverpool player got eight game ban for racial attack on a player in my book this is worse and i call for balotelli to get a ban,


23/01/2012 18:19
im not a   spurs fan      but       man city  have joined   man utd  as   cheats and  nutters       they had one goal  offside  and  balotelli  and lescott should have been sent off  the referees  now a days are bribed  so   bring in technology  now    a large video screen on side of pitch  to playback  incidents so  it can be seen  immediate   wether  the incident ie foul is deliberate or not  then the ref would have to sent them of today the ref webb  admitted he should have sent them off  why didnt he cause he was bribed i guess  before hand     what do u think     ?       anyway technology bring it in now this will stop       the refere getting it wrong     also  goaline incidents ect 
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