Super Mario Balotelli. Super Mama’s boy!

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Italy’s golden striker Mario Balotelli shot his nation into the final of the Euro 2012 championship, with two goals, one of which could easily be the goal of the tournament.

On scoring his second goal Balotelli took off his shirt and gestured to the football world, in a way that suggested, ‘I’m the new football king’. It was boastful, no doubt, even a touch of arrogance, but I, like many football fans had to smile. For all his showiness, posturing and occasionally bad behaviour, Balotelli unlike the king of show, Cristiano Renaldo AKA CR7, has many endearing features.

One of which was captured in perhaps the most moving moments in the whole tournament. After the final whistle blew Balotelli sort out his adopted mother in the crowd. He found her, kissed and embraced her whispering to her that the two goals he scored were were ‘for you.’

Balotelli clearly has God given talent; great pace, touch and a devastating right and left foot, but he also has another rather disappointing side. He will make too many clumsy, sometimes dirty challenges, and if things don’t go quite his way he’ll ‘throw his toys out the pram’. With two sendings off this season we see Balotelli too often behave like an adolescent. But what is endearing about him, he seems to know that, and he is sorry for it. He’s like a naughty boy, who says sorry and genuinely hopes it won’t happen again.

In Manchester, the city side at least, they truly adore him. He’s been known to walk into one of the council estate pubs and buy everyone a drink, or leave a bundle of cash in one of local churches.

One of the more difficult areas Balotelli has had to do is navigate recently has been the reunion and reconciliation with is birth mother who gave him up when he was two.

Last night though Balotelli made many more fans both on and off the field.

Super Mario, Super Mama’s boy!

Simon Woolley

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