Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Dirty Tackle

Mario Balotelli apologizes for ref abuse in the third person

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

View photo

.

(Getty)

Mario Balotelli received a three-match ban for insulting the referee as he was sent off at the end of Milan's 2-1 loss to Napoli. Balotelli missed a penalty for the first time in his career and scored in that match, but the official's refusal to punish Napoli for knocking him around throughout the game pushed him over the edge. And after his own manager said that he needs to stop acting like a child, Mario has decided to apologize. But not to everyone.

Balotelli recently asserted that he shouldn't be compared to former teammate and fellow supremely talented and endlessly entertaining striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but when he apologizes in teh third person it becomes all the more difficult to avoid comparisons. He tells La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia):

“First of all I am sorry for my teammates,” said Balotelli. “They train and work hard with me, so with this gesture I left them alone. I also feel guilty for the fans, who care so much, and of course the club.

“I apologise to the referee, as I should not have reacted that way. Against Napoli it was the same old story, the fouls against me don’t seem to count and as soon as I do anything... I just want others to be punished for fouling me the same way I am for fouling them. But I do realise I have to resist in certain situations.” [...]

“I made a mistake when I was provoked. Mario got it wrong and Mario apologises, but I don’t want to apologise to everyone because it’s not as if I killed someone,” added Balo, talking about himself in the third person.

It's true that Mario hasn't killed anyone, so the outrage should be tempered by that fact. But a professional footballer referring to himself in the third person isn't usually viewed as much better.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (14)