Mario Balotelli's 5 Most Ridiculous Antics at Manchester City
Mario Balotelli might have entertained us for the last time in England as he looks set to complete his permanent transfer from Manchester City to AC Milan after two-and-a-half years of goals, arguments and general madcap shenanigans.
BBC report that former Inter striker Balotelli is set to join AC Milan for a possible total fee of up to €25 million with .
He has scored a total of 30 goals in 75 matches for Manchester City, but his record at the Premier League club has been chequered with disciplinary problems, off-field controversies and early substitutions due to countless poor performances.
Balotelli has been an entertainer, a showman and—at times—a very good forward for City, but they have clearly grown tired of his inconsistency and will gladly accept the perhaps overly large transfer fee for him.
Here are Super Mario's five most ridiculous antics during his time spent at the Etihad Stadium.
5. Fighting with His Team-Mates
On the training ground or on the pitch, Balotelli is happy to scrap with his teammates if he feels he's in the right.
"Go along to get along" just doesn't seem to figure in his repertoire.
Most recently (see video) we saw a brief spat with left-back Aleksandar Kolarov over who would take a free kick, leading to captain Vincent Kompany having to direct him away, but it was far from the first such instance.
There was talk of an "exchange of insults" with defender Micah Richards a little over a year ago (as per Telegraph), rumours of an argument with Yaya Toure at the end of last season (via Daily Mail), photos of a fight with Jerome Boateng in 2010 (from Guardian) and reports of a scrap with club captain Vincent Kompany at the end of his first season in England (as per ESPN).
City might be losing a talented player, but they're not perhaps seeing the back of a great teammate.
4. Fighting with His Manager
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Mario Balotelli and Roberto Mancini have had a fairly long and fractious relationship.
The striker first played under the manager at Inter Milan before they both joined—at different times—Manchester City.
Usually regarded as one of the few coaches with the patience or tolerance to coax the best out of Mario while putting up with the crazy side of him, even Mancini had to suffer through arguments and fights with the Italian international from time to time.
Mancini had criticised his forward in the past for a lack of discipline after several red cards and club fines, and most recently he was pictured fighting with the striker in training after the pair had a disagreement.
3. Mario Bibotelli
Sometimes you just don't need any words, when the visuals are this effective.
2. Fireworks in His Bathroom, Setting His House on Fire
photo from guardian.co.uk
Balotelli seems to have a rather short attention span and a penchant for doing daft things when boredom takes hold.
October 2011 saw the forward involved in a normal, quiet Friday night before a big derby game against rivals Manchester United—when he and a bunch of friends managed to set his house on fire after apparently letting off a firework from his bathroom window.
Balotelli himself is not thought to have lit the firework, according to reports from the BBC, but was inside the property at the time.
1. Throwing Darts at a Youth Team Player
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Placing himself in danger is one thing, but Mario went a step too far when he lined up some potentially dangerous ammunition to aim at Manchester City's younger generation.
During his first season at the club, Balotelli missed plenty of the campaign because of injury, but he also suffered suspensions and was lucky not to get another one after throwing a dart at an unnamed youth team player (as per BBC).
His aim in throwing must have been as wayward as his shooting has been this season—Balotelli has scored just once in the Premier League during 2012-13—as nobody was injured in the incident.
Once again, Balotelli proved that perhaps he is not exactly the ideal teammate to have around the place, when the club is trying to pull together and overthrow Manchester United at the top of the table and retain their Premiership crown.