Mario Balotelli Watch: TIME Magazine, UEFA Champions League and Sharks
It's been another big week in the life of Mario Balotelli.
The Italian international has again had his name littered throughout the press this week—as expected—following a number of interesting incidents and events.
So let's not beat around the bush; let's get straight in to another week of Balotelli, and all the wonderful things that the striker has been up to this week.
Unlucky in UEFA Champions League
Let's jump straight in to the European tournament, where Mario Balotelli was again the subject of some poor refereeing as Manchester City slumped to a 2-2 draw against Ajax, all but ending their qualification dreams in the process.
The Italian international was superb against Ajax—flicking on a clearance to give City their second goal—but the real moment of truth came in the final seconds of play when Balotelli was brought down in the box by Ricardo van Rhijn.
The call? No penalty. Game over. 2-2 draw.
Balotelli was not a happy a man, and neither was Roberto Mancini.
The striker had to be pulled away from the referee by captain Vincent Kompany, while Mancini let the officials know—both on the ground and in the press room afterwards—that he was not happy with the decision, and that his side were robbed.
Which, it seems, they were.
On the cover of TIME Magazine
But Mario Balotelli's biggest news of the week came in the form of TIME Magazine, which presented the Manchester City forward on the cover of the famous publication.
The striker joins the likes of Barack Obama, Brad Pitt and John Lennon as people to have graced the cover of the world's most famous magazine.
The full interview will be out in the magazine this month, but Balotelli also featured in a video interview for the publication—commenting on a variety of issues including the "why always me?" shirt, racism in football and his relationship with Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.
There's always the outlandish comments that we expect from Super Mario—how he doesn't like to call people old, how he doesn't like to go outside—and other than an incredibly dry interviewer, it wasn't too bad from the Italian international.
Check out the video below.
Roberto Mancini blasts Balotelli over West Ham draw
Last week in the English Premier League, West Ham held Manchester City to another draw away from home, with the defending champions failing to find the back of the net despite several good goal-scoring opportunities.
That drew the ire of Roberto Mancini, who wasted no time after the match to point the finger at Balotelli—who missed several clear-cut chances.
This is football. I think that a player like Balotelli, when he has a chance like today, he should score because when you are a top player—if you have a chance—you should score this.
I don't think he didn't wanted to score. I am happy with the performance, because we played well; I'm unhappy with the chances that we're missing.
Mario Balotelli: Super Shark?
We wrap our weekly Balotelli Watch with a little bit of comic relief—a shark at Blackpool's Sealife Centre has been named after Balotelli because his behavior (the shark's, that is) reminded the employees of the enigmatic Italian striker.
According to reports in the Blackpool Gazette, the biggest and grumpiest creature at the centre "tries to pull some handlers into the pool at feeding time, fixes a surly stare on others and uses his head to nudge balls of rolled up food away from tank-mates...".
General manager Jenn Newton said:
We named him Balotelli because he just seems to exhibit the same behaviour as the footballer. At feeding time we put fish on a big pole and he will try and pull staff into the pool or snap the pole and he also nudges rolled up balls of food out of the way.
He is not man-eating, he’s just got a nasty bite.
Which, come to think of it, sounds just like Mario Balotelli.
Any Mario Balotelli news that we missed this week?
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