Balotelli’s 31-minute masterclass in mocking opponents, rowing with his manager, storming off and entertaining neutrals
Mario Balotelli again provided proof of the adage that when he’s around, good things happen, by ensuring that Manchester City’s US tour had a big finish.
Super Mario lasted just 31 minutes of their game with LA Galaxy after enraging team-mates, manager and opposition supporters alike with the antics in the video above, in doing so also wrestling the spotlight off of David Beckham.
But if Balotelli is their star turn when it comes to drama, showing Carlos Tevez that petulance can be amusing as well as irritating, then Roberto Mancini deserves credit for his increasingly entertaining press performances.
Rather than dreading the inevitable post-match grilling that he knew would follow his latest row with Balotelli, he embraced the situation by poking fun at his perceived lack of authority and noting his striker’s use of Italian to shout at him.
Though the Italian boss has worryingly had a greater presence on Sky Sports News than Harry Redknapp this summer, his act is far fresher and his refusal to take himself too seriously, almost unheard of in managerial circles – sorry Sparky – makes his appearances consistently enjoyable.
The only slight criticism is that he needs to tone down his talking about other teams’ players a touch, though that in itself is a tad hypocritical coming from a site that readily worships at the temple of transfer speculation!
His reluctance to be too critical of Balotelli is no huge shock either given some of the skirmishes he got caught up in as a player, not to mention one or two as a manager as well.