Sunday 1 February 2015

Mario Balotelli at Manchester City


Mario Balotelli signed a five-year deal in August 2010 and his City career ever since has been a colourful one to say the least. The early signs weren't promising - he barely managed a smile for the customary new shirt photo op. Photo: AP
High kick: Mario Balotelli showed his ability to tackle in the style of a madman early on during a Europa League clash against Dynamo Kiev
No surprise: The referee was not impressed in his dual role as a match official and a human being and unsurprisingly showed Balotelli a red card. Roberto Mancini wasn't best pleased either. Photo: Reuters
Right arm in: Sometimes it's very difficult to adjust to a new country and a new culture. Especially when they insist on wearing challenging warm-up attire like bibs
... and people say modern footballers are pampered
Head boy: Mario Balotelli paired an idiosyncratic chicken hat with iPod headphones for the ultimate winter footballer look. Photo: Sky Sports
Trailblazer: Many would have been reluctant to make another bold fashion statement so soon after the chicenhatgate. Mario showed admirable courage to pair a snood with some fetching pirate's gloves in the following week. Photo: PA
Sound of silence: Roberto Mancini has admitted that Balotelli doesn’t listen to him. To be fair to the striker, there's quite a difference in height between Mancini's mouth and his ear. Photo: AP
Ball watching: Balotelli was subjected to racist abuse by fans in Austria during a match with Romania. Photo: Reuters
Knee problem: Balotelli's injury issues have been a concern since his debut for the club, arguably even more than his taste in hats. He was sent to Vermont to sort out the injury. He probably hated it
Telling off: Nigel de Jong gave Balotelli some verbals after the Italian attempted a failed showboat against LA Galaxy. Photo: Getty Images
Fire starter: Balotelli became the face of fireworks safety awareness after friends set fire to his house, letting off rockets in his bathroom
One and only: the Italian posed the question that everyone but him knew the answer to after scoring against Manchester United following his fireworks calamity in October 2011
Joy confined: booked for his celebration against United, Balotelli chose a more sedate expression of pleasure after scoring against Newcastle. Photo: Getty Images
Red all over: Balotelli was dismissed for two yellow cards after coming on as a second half substitute against Liverpool. Photo: Getty Images
Why me? the striker prested his innocence to manager Roberto Mancini, who remained unmoved. Photo: Getty Images
Putting his foot down: Balotelli landed squarely on Scott Parker's face, an act of malice according to Spurs manager Harry Redknapp. Photo: Sky Sports
Match winner: with virtually the last kick of an entertaining game, Balotelli served a similar blow to Spurs' title chances. Photo: Getty Images
Smells like team-spirit: Balotelli had an on-pitch arguement with Alexsandar Kolarov in City's 3-3 draw with Sunderland, and in the dressing room with Yaya Toure at half-time. Photo: PA
Open mic session: on a day off, Balotelli found time to gatecrash the Inter Milan press conference announcing the appointment of interim coach Andrea Stramaccioni
Best foot forward: Balotelli was lucky to escape a sending off for a horrible foul on Arsenal's Alex Song. Photo: Sky Sports
Seeing red all over: he did pick up his fourth red card of the season, though, much to the joy of the Arsenal fans. Photo: Getty Images
On his knees: for all the controversies, he picked up a Premier League winners medal last season. Photo: Reuters
Scuffle: Balotelli took acception to being told off by Mancini for a late tackle in training in his latest controversy
Yellow peril: Mario Balotelli enhances his look with a haircut of purest gold

On the eve of Mario Balotelli's proposed move to AC Milan, we take a look back at his eventful Manchester City career

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