Why I love Mario Balotelli:
An athlete that is always in the center of controversy, my beautiful Mario Balotelli, needs someone to defend him and I would love the challenge to do so.
Manny Ramirez, LeBron James, Mark Sanchez and MARIO BALOTELLI. All of these athletes are scrutinized, for good reason, but as I have defended LeBron I feel it is my duty to do the same for Mario. I have sat and watched Fox Soccer to no end (as background noise, physically viewing or just hoping to see the wrap up from the games on the weekend) and I have had to listen to their analyst do nothing but complain about Mario and his mannerisms. Sure, he does deserve some of the negative coverage, I mean it’s pretty inevitable when he kicks, slams and punches the pitch, but regardless doesn’t every soccer player do the same at some point?
The moment of Mario's career that will always stick in everyone's mind, soccer fan or not, is the "why always me" moment. Whether you are a soccer fan or not the video blew up after their 6-1 WIN OVER MANCHESTER UNITED. If you don't recall the video is below. After this super Mario truly hit the international scene, and with a bang. It has all snowballed since then with off field altercations with the law, woman and school children (funny story look it up so I'm not pinning him as a pedophile).
Mario possesses some of the greatest talent, in my naïve view, of any other soccer player in the world (except for Messi), especially at the age of 22. He has been playing professionally since he was 16-years old (signed with Inter Milan), you can see that he truly is a prodigy. I firmly believe his age has a lot to do with the mistakes he has made on and off the pitch, just like LeBron James when he made “The Decision.” Both of their mistakes got blown into massive proportions in large part because of their fame and standing in the sporting world. But, it’s those mistakes that make me love him more, because he isn’t afraid to take the brunt for “Mario, being Mario,” and just, smile. His mistake show that even “super heroes” are humans and in all seriousness, haven’t we all made mistakes at one point in our life? Hell, I did horribly freshman year of college but you didn’t see that in the news, I know totally different beasts, but you get the point.
I believe a fellow British City fan said it best regarding the Balotelli saga. He stated the media tries to make something out of nothing with Mario and City (but I’ll leave the City stuff alone, for now). No matter the action occurring in the game, if Balotelli is on the pitch the camera is constantly on him, for good reason he is such a handsome devil! When he is shown arguing with Mancini, refs or teammates, the broadcasters waste no time in assuming the worse, when this stuff happens all the time in sports, especially when you get taken off. Nolan Ryan would stare at the pitching coach when he came to take him out of the game, and he is a Hall of Famer.
They say a picture says 1000 words and nothing would better describe the moment in the 2012 Euro Cup competition when Balotelli, playing for the Italian international team, scored a pivotal goal against Germany. After scoring, Balotelli ran over to the crowd, where his adopted mother Silvia was sitting and gave her a big hug. In that moment, you could tell that deep inside, the controversial character, that Mario Balotelli was a softy.
Finally, I strongly believe that Balotelli, like many other athletes in his position are misunderstood. His actions may say differently because he is young and stupid. But, with Roberto Mancini as his father figure, I have faith that in a year or two he’ll have a LeBron like realization.
Why always him? Because without him we’d be stuck talking about Luis Suarez, and who wants to talk about that “ugly mug.”
Side note to this defense: I am currently in the midst of writing a letter of interest to Balotelli’s agent in regard to being Mario’s autobiography writer. Hell, it’s worth a shot right?