1. Meet Mario Balotelli.
Super Mario, as he is commonly called, is an Italian soccer star, currently playing for AC Milan and the Italian national team. Known for his spirited antics, odd nature, and general distate for discipline, Balotelli has lived quite the life, and at the tender age of 22, he is already the most interesting man in the world.
So let’s take a look into that life…
3. November 2008: Accuses his biological parents of “glory hunting.”
In 1993, the Balotellis, an Italian foster family, adopted Mario Barwuah. 15 years later, Mario’s biological parents tried to get him back, but he believed they only wanted him back because of the prominence he had gained.
(The picture above is Mario with his biological mother Rose and brother Enoch.)
5. April 2010: Commits “public suicide.”
At the end of the Champions League semi-final victory over Barcelona, Balotelli — frustrated and angered by the boos from fans — threw his jersey on the ground. Throwing your jersey on the ground is viewed as a sign of disrespect in the eyes of supporters, and this tantrum was later described as “public suicide” by Intern owner Massimo Moratti.
Years later, Mario called this one of the biggest regrets of his life.
10. March 2011: Is unable to put on practice bib.
Seriously, watch this. It’s hilarious.
12. April 2011: Donates money to help construct a secondary school for Sudanese children.
It was Mario’s idea to build the school to give Sudanese children an alternative to weapons and fighting, because there was no secondary school in Cuey Machar — the birthplace of Mario’s friend John Kon Kelei, a former child soldier.
16. July 2011: Is benched after trying to convert a trick shot during a match.
Balotelli apparently heard a whistle from the stands while playing in a friendly for Manchester City and thought the ref was stopping play, which is why he decided to turn his back to the goal and kick the ball of his back heel. Unfortunately, manager Roberto Mancini was furious over this move and immediately subbed him as “a lesson” that this “can’t happen on a strong team.”
17. Unknown: Mom sends him to get an ironing board and he comes back with a quad bike, an electric car racing game, and a trampoline.
During an interview with BBC Sport, Balotelli confirmed that his mother did indeed send him out to buy an ironing board, only for him to get distracted at the local John Lewis (an upmarket department stores) and buy everything around him, except for an ironing board.
19. September 2011: Testifies at a mafia trial.
Super Mario was called to give evidence to prosecutors after it emerged that he was taken on a guided tour of the Scampia district of Naples by notorious mobsters.
The prosecutors wanted to know about his links to Mario Iorio, a catering entrepreneur charged with money laundering.
20. October 2011: Accidentally lights his house on fire by setting off fireworks indoors.
The next day he scored against Manchester United and celebrated by revealing a T-shirt which read: “Why always me?”
22. November 2011: Becomes the first black player to score for the Italian national team.
This historic moment came in a 2-0 win against Poland at Stadion Miejski in Wroclaw, Poland.
23. December 2011: Breaks club curfew after spending the night with fans.
Before a match against Chelsea, Balotelli visited an Indian restaurant, breaking his club’s 48-hour curfew. According to reports, Balotelli “was not drinking, signed autographs and posed for pictures with fellow diners at the Zouk Indian restaurant after being involved in a playful sword-fight with rolling pins.”
25. January 2012: Banned four games for stomping on opponent’s head.
After appearing to intentionally stomp on the head of Tottenham’s Scott Parker during a Premier League match, Balotelli was charged with violent conduct by the Football Association and slapped with a four game suspension.
28. November 2012: Opens up about racial prejudice in sports.
In the interview, Mario discusses his goals on and off the field, racism in the sport, and his struggle to become the Italian national team’s first genuine black star - a struggle that almost caused him to leave the field at Euro 2012.
30. May 2013: Takes his brand new Ferrari 458 on a go-kart track.
Under his new contract, Balotelli is specifically not allowed to get behind the wheel of a go-kart. No one really knows why this restriction exists, but his love of go-karting first became public when he built a track in his home garden while with Manchester City. Fortunately for Balo, there was a loophole in the contract.
And to think, this man is just hitting his prime. One can only imagine what he’ll do next.
- Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated head-to-head over who was a true "progressive." 🇺🇸
- Do you know what happened in the news this week? Time to take our quiz.