Finally Mario Balotelli arrived on the international stage, and Germany was at the receiving end in the recently concluded Euros. It could have been any team, but sadly for the Die Mannschaft faithful, it was their team which got knocked out in another big tournament, courtesy two top notch goals from Balotelli. Anyone following the lanky Italian from the start of the tournament would have predicted something extra-ordinary in the semi finals against Germany, as Balotelli already had many shots on the target without hitting the back of the net. Azzurri fans witnessed a more determined Balotelli work hard in all the matches, especially against England, where he was seen track back to clinch the ball, which he rarely showcases while playing for his club back in England.
But what creates more eagerness among the spectators and the fans watching Mario Balotelli play for Manchester City, and now Italy, is how does he react after scoring. Balotelli has given the world some of the best goal celebrations in recent years, mostly very quiet and subtle, but not going by the face value of his celebrations, his fans feel Mario really means to say a lot by those celebrations on the pitch. Let’s have a look at the top five Balotelli celebrations and what were the incidents leading up to those celebrations.
Why Always Me? v Manchester United
Mario Balotelli was on the verge of starting in one of the biggest game in English Premier League calendar and he was on the front page of all the English tabloids for letting loose some fire crackers in his Manchester penthouse. His attitude was questioned and people pointed their fingers at his inability to lead a normal life. Balotelli passed the ball in the back of the net gracefully, lifted his shirt which had a subtle message for “whomsoever it may concern”. It said- Why Always Me?. Still tipped as one of the best T-Shirt celebrations in the world, accompanied by a goal which had a huge impact on the table, eventually on the first Manchester city title and more importantly on many people’s perception about him as a footballer and as a person.
Muscle Power v Germany
As recent as the Euro semi-final clash between Germany and Italy, Mario scored a screamer past hapless Manuel Neuer to double the Italian goal advantage. He celebrated this goal by ripping off his shirt and standing still with a flex of his muscles as an add on. As all the players rushed towards him to celebrate, Balotelli didn’t break a smile. Even before the huge match had started, many former players and fans were curious why doesn’t Mario celebrate after scoring a goal. Balotelli reportedly replied-
“When I score I don’t celebrate, because I’m doing my job,When the postman delivers your letter, does he celebrate?”
With a threat of being a subject to racist chants and getting substituted in the previous matches, he ultimately conjured that celebration. It was indeed a mighty reply to all his critics, as his brace single handedly put the Azzurri in the finals.
Folded Hands v Newcastle United
Mario Balotelli opened the scoring at the Etihad stadium against Newcastle United in a crucial encounter. As Ryan Taylor handled the ball just minutes before the half time, Mario stepped up to take the penalty, as usually isn’t shy of taking a spot kick. The lanky Italian slotted the ball stylishly past Krul, as the Dutch custodian was left stung with his confidence. Mario then just folded his hands, walked towards him and gave him a stare to spark off another controversy.
Enigmatic Dance v Genoa
While plying his trade with the Italian giants Internazionale, Balotelli scored a superb goal to round off a clinical move; he then performed a weird dance and was kicked by Maicon repeatedly while he performed his outrageous moves on the pitch. The reports said it was a personal bet between both of them and the details were, well quite obvious from the moves.
Bring It On v Aston Villa
Mario once again started the downfall of the Villians at the Etihad Stadium, after scoring a hattrick against them in the last season. Balotelli latched onto a mis-controlled chestball from Kompany and hit a perfect bicycle kick to give the side from the East lands the lead. After scoring he raced towards the Aston Villa supporters and gave them a stare of “did you see what I did there?” This was in reply to what the Villain fans were throwing at the big Italian when he fell while controlling the ball a few minutes earlier. He was being booed at before that strike and Balotelli left no stone unturned in the celebration which virtually rammed in the his point down their throat.
Many incidents came close to the list such as Mario sitting on the pile of city players who were ecstatic after Yaya Toure had almost put them in front against Manchester united. Bonucci of course denied us mortals of another epic Mario celebration when he turned around to say something to Prandelli, and that was after scoring a fabulous goal coming off the bench against Ireland to put the match to bed.
Some people may point out that his celebrations are mostly meandering on the border of arrogance and disrespect. His romance with himself sometimes takes over- one may put forth. Not everyone is gifted with the skill of expressing happiness. Mario just chooses a not so treaded path when it comes to celebrations. He once said he likes when City fans chant his name from the stands, but it is hardly visible from the way he lets his fans know about it. As a boy, he once cried after being left on the bench by his coach in match, he was then substituted and he scored the winner. He certainly knew how to express his feelings then. Eventually, time teaches everything .