There have been a lot of wacky stories about Mario Balotelli doing everything from throwing darts at youth team players to escorting children to school and confronting their bullies. And since Mario seems capable of all of them, it's often hard to know which are true and which are from the imagination of an enterprising newspaper hack. This one, however, I really, really hope is true.
According to the Daily Star Sunday, Mario Balotelli has offered to organize Manchester City's Christmas party. And even though Nigel De Jong told CityTV that Mario has been "acting normal...for him" recently, this still has his teammates a bit worried.
From the Star:
Last night a source close to the player said: "Mario isn't one for drinking and falling out of clubs, he just thinks he can take a party to the next level.
"But some of the lads aren't so sure. They are half-expecting imported snow with tigers and dwarves.
He is always on the look-out for the next big laugh and it's just as likely everyone would turn up to an empty room.
"Skipper Vincent Kompany and manager Roberto Mancini will have a lot to say about what goes on but Mario has this cheeky glint in his eye and it is making people extremely nervous."
There really are so many ways Mario could go with this and tigers/dwarves or an empty room are just two of the tamest possibilities. He could rent out the finest hotel in Manchester and fill it with hobos he met outside a casino. He could make Carlos Tevez eat a bunch of candy and use him as a pinata. He could take the whole team to a women's prison in Italy. He could hold an eight-day Hanukkah party instead. Or he could make them all watch him speed off in his Maserati the moment they arrive. The possibilities are endless and each is more fantastic than the last.
The Star is hardly a reliable outlet and "a source close to..." is usually code for "I just made this person up." But, again, all we can say is that this being true would be the greatest Christmas gift of all.
- Mario Balotelli