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…
2. November 2008: Becomes the youngest Inter Milan player to score in the Champions League.
Balotelli was 18 years and 85 days old at the time.
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.)
4. March 2010: During an interview, Balotelli pulls on an AC Milan shirt (a cross-town rival at the time).
After receiving heavy criticism from fans, Balotelli posted an apology on the club’s website.
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.
6. August 2010: Crashes his Audi R8 on his way to the club’s training ground.
Balotelli was able to walk away from the head-on-collision unharmed.
7. October 2010: Trespasses into a women’s prison.
Balotelli’s explanation of the invasion? “I told my brother: ‘Do you want to see a prison?’ Then I went in.”
8. December 2010: Wins the Golden Boy Award.
The Golden Boy is an award given by sports journalists to the most impressive player from Europe under the age of 21. Balotelli’s reaction to winning: “Who could have won this award but me?”
9. March 2011: Has an allergic reaction to grass.
According to Manchester City sources, Balotelli was taken out of a game when his face began swelling up because of a bad reaction to, yes, grass.
10. March 2011: Is unable to put on practice bib.
Seriously, watch this. It’s hilarious.
11. March 2011: Throws darts out a window at some kids.
Mario was fined a week’s wages (aprrox. £100,000), for throwing darts out of a first-story window at a group of youth soccer players. His reason for throwing the darts was that he was “bored.”
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.
13. April 2011: Has his Maserati taken away.
According to The Sun, Balotelli averaged three tickets per day and his Maserati was impounded 27 times before it was confiscated.
14. May 2011: Bails on Man City’s FA Cup parade and celebrations.
Despite being named the man of the match in the game in which the team captured its first FA Cup in 35 years, Mario was nowhere to be seen. According to Man City’s coach, Balotelli had already returned to Italy.
15. May 2011: Slapped in the face for flirting with a woman.
According to reports, Balotelli was slapped twice in the face by the boyfriend of a woman he was hitting on.
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.
18. August 2011: Caught sparring with a practice dummy.
Just days after a scrap with his teammate, Mario was photgraphed throwing punches at and kicking a dummy defender.
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?”
21. October 2011: Becomes Manchester’s ambassador for fire safety.
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.”
24. January 2012: Ranked No.2 on GQ’s list of Best-Dressed Men in Britain.
Ahead of him was east London rapper Tinie Tempah.
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.
26. Unknown: Hires a street magician to teach him magic.
While perusing the streets of Trafford Centre, Balotelli came across a street performer and invited the magician to his house to teach him tricks.
27. March 2012: Crashes the press conference of his former team’s new head coach.
As Inter Milan was introducing their new head coach, Andrea Stramaccioni, Mario Balotelli popped into the press conference to introduce himself. (Balotelli played for Manchester City at the time).
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.
29. April 2013: Ranked Among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People
Balotelli was the only footballer (soccer player) to make the list.
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.