You know one has become a legend too unbelievable to ever make up when they set fire to their own house by launching fireworks out of their window late at night and the public response isn't "Why would he do that?" but "Of course he did that." And that's the position Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli finds himself in now, with a charred house, some used up fireworks and an ever-growing list of odd feats that only he could compile by the age of 21 all because he seems to have gotten a little prematurely excited about this Sunday's big Manchester derby.
From the Guardian:
Two fire crews using breathing apparatus put out the flames after being called to Balotelli's house just before 1am on Saturday to deal with what has been described as "a substantial fire" on the first floor. The property, in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire, sustained serious fire and smoke damage and the police were also called — in part to ensure Balotelli did not go back into the house. The striker is said to have been reluctant to leave his belongings and, at one point, to have run back inside to recover a quantity of money and a suitcase. [...]
Balotelli checked into a Manchester hotel and took part in training as normal at 10am. He has told club officials he and four friends were setting off fireworks through an open window. The bathroom towels set on fire and the blaze quickly spread. Balotelli has claimed that one of his friends had set off the firework. That, however, is unlikely to spare the player a reprimand from Mancini and a reminder that City's management staff would have expected him to be asleep at that time rather than exposing himself to the possibility of serious injury.
Really? Have they met Mario Balotelli? The man they fined for throwing darts out of a window (I'm noticing a trend here) at youth team players as a joke, the man who took his brother trespassing at a women's prison in Italy just because he wanted to see a prison, and the man who left training to take a kid back to school and confront the child's bully? Because everyone else's reaction seems to be "Well, it's about time. Mario's been a little quiet lately." And he has.
Teammate Nigel De Jong said that Balotelli has been "acting normal...for him" after he scored with a brilliant overhead kick last weekend. Manager Roberto Mancini said he had hope that Mario was "changing mentally," which shows how far he's come in the coach's eyes since he was yanked out of a preseason match against L.A. for attempting a goofy spinning backheel move.
Anyway, if Mario really is organizing the club's Christmas party, all guests might want to locate the nearest hospital before attending.