Mario Balotelli was already a Football Burp favourite before this weekend, and our appreciation of the man only intensified when he hit a brace in yesterday’s Manchester derby having set his house ablaze little over twenty-four hours earlier by setting off fireworks in his bathroom. As such, we decided that one of these humorous list-type thingies would be most in order – so let’s see what made the Top 6…
In March of this year, Balotelli took measures to alleviate his reported boredom by throwing “at least one dart” out of a first floor window at the club’s youth team players, in a move which may have had more to do with City’s new academy plans than we may have realised. No-one was hit by the darts, which, although fortunate, reflects poorly on the Italian’s shoot-‘em-up credentials coming as it did just one month after Ashley Cole shot a Chelsea youth team player with an air rifle.
In June, reports surfaced in the Italian media that Balotelli had been taken on a tour of Camorra, the crime-ridden southern port city which inspired the book and subsequent film of Gomorrah, by a pair of alleged Mafia godfathers. One newspaper, La Stampa, described Balotelli as “wandering the streets and grim housing estates of the area as though it was Disney World”, which may or may not conjure images in your mind of a wide-eyed Balotelli emitting an awestruck “Wow!”, stripping to his pants and running along the seaside shooting make-believe bullets with his fingers.
His most recent misdemeanour, Balotelli was apparently with friends when he tried to set off fireworks out of his bathroom window in the early hours of Saturday, so we can only presume that they’re either all as batsh*t crazy as he is or just too scared to tell him “no”. Again, fortunately, no-one was hurt but it still required two fire crews using breathing apparatus to deal with the “substantial” fire. Balotelli is reported to have at one point ran back into the house in order to retrieve “a quantity of money and a suitcase”. Who knows what manner of eccentric valuables perished in the inferno?
While this would undoubtedly be many people’s first choice, we feel even more enamoured with the two tales to follow. Nevertheless, here is “Bibotelli” (as dubbed by lost Chuckle Brother Robbie Savage on the commentary) in all its glory…
2. Women’s prison-gate
In November 2010, a sidelined-after-knee-surgery Balotelli and his then 17 year-old brother Enock drove a Mercedes into the grounds of a women’s prison in Brescia, resulting in a half-hour grilling from staff. Brescia jail officer ¬Calogero Lo Presti said: “We saw a high-powered ¬Mercedes coupé come through the gate with two lads on board, and after a few minutes we realised Balotelli was one of them. They were questioned for 30 minutes to get their details and by the end both were frightened. Balotelli said he was sorry. They said they had seen the gate was open, and went in without knowing that you need special permission to visit a jail. They added they were specially curious at the fact it was a women’s prison.”
You’d think at least they could have seen their way to giving two curious lads a ‘Disneyworld’ tour of the place. One can only imagine what manner of hilarious consequences might have ensued…
After winning £25,000 on a night out with Blackburn Rovers defender Chris Samba at Manchester’s 235 Casino in April (yowsers, what a sentence), Balotelli spotted a familiar, homeless face and thrust £1,000 in its direction. Quoth a “source” from the ever-reliable Sun: “Mario is really generous. He always hands £20 notes to the Big Issue boys without even taking the magazine. There’s a guy he always sees around town with ginger dreadlocks and a beard. He carries his possessions in two carrier bags.
“He was outside the club in the early hours so Mario handed him a wad of notes after his big win. The tramp couldn’t believe his luck. It was enough to keep him going for months.”
It’s a good thing the dreadlocked gentleman was able to exercise some restraint with the money for, as kind as the gesture was, we can’t imagine that it would always end all too well. Still, good on Super Mario, and here’s to many more mad antics that don’t wind up visiting harm upon any poor unfortunates.
What are your personal favourite off-field Balotelli moments? Have your say in the comments section below…(and, yes, we realise that Bibgate was technically ‘on-pitch’, but we couldn’t think of a snappy enough term for ‘outside of match-time’)…