Part of the reason so many fantastical Mario Balotelli stories are able to exist as truth is that Mario doesn't do interviews very often. Also, because we want them to be. But Mario's understandable distrust of the media apparently does not exclude talking to former Oasis songwriter and professional Man City fan Noel Gallagher for the BBC's Football Focus. The Guardian has the full transcript of the interview (the final edit is above), which is lengthy but surprisingly great and definitely worth reading. Here are some of the best bits of it...
First, Mario explains the fireworks incident:
NG: So tell us what … can you run me through … I'm fascinated by this, so the night before the derby at Old Trafford when we won six one [pause] the fire brigade are called when you set fire to your house …
MB: I didn't.
NG: Accidentally or so they say.
MB: No I didn't.
NG: OK can you clear that up?
MB: So [laughs] you want me to tell you what happened?
NG: If you want.
MB: Only because it's you.
NG: Nice one, thank you very much.
MB: So it started like a joke no.
MB: So, nah but that's stupid. [Both laugh]
NG: Never mind, you can tell me later.
MB: I was bored no, so I was with my friends and one of them was limping so I got one bin you know the bin?
MB: But a metal one yeah.
NG: OK [both laugh].
MB: For put fireworks inside.
MB: But nothing gonna happen right, so I left the room and I left the fireworks but I didn't …
NG: You didn't light them?
MB: No, I walk out and then my friend go in the room and they just start screaming blah blah blah and the fireworks was going off and they put the fireworks on the bed, not on the bed sorry, on the toilet.
MB: But just the curtain caught on fire, that's it, nothing else, they just made everything up.
NG: Oh so the fire brigade weren't called?
MB: Yeah, only because the firemen they came.
NG: Oh right OK.
MB: For the curtain and the toilet.
NG: Oh because the alarm was going off right?
MB: Just the toilet was lost.
NG: So all that being said that part of the story, what were you thinking when you made the T-shirt, the "why always me" T-shirt? Did you have a feeling you were gonna score that day?
MB: I thought I was gonna score three.
Mario debunks several other popular tales:
NG: Now there's a lot of very very very funny stories that are written about you in the papers could we clear some of them up you can tell me if some of them are true or false?
MB: Like what?
NG: We know this one is true, did you turn up at a women's jail in Milan and ask for a tour?
MB: No I, you know that for go to jail you have to call them and you have to have like an invitation. So I have to go in one of them but it was for men no? And I was with my brother, but where I live there are two prison like one mile away.
MB: So the gate was open and I went in the wrong one but I was in the parking so but when you go in the parking then they have to check everything and after like every time someone just talk, called the press …
NG: And said that you turned up and asked for a tour?
MB: Nah, I didn't, just stupid people.
NG: Is it true that a young lad turned up here at the training ground, asked you for your autograph and you asked him why he wasn't at school and he said he was being bullied so you took him to school and spoke to the headmaster?
NG: That's not true either? You're blowing it all here Mario.
NG: You're blowing it all here mate.
MB: No it's not true that I took him to school, no it's not true. I tell him why he wasn't at school but I didn't took him to school.
NG: Are you having lessons to be a DJ from Tim Westwood?
MB: Errr no … I had a picture with him, he asked me a picture, that's it.
NG: [laughs] Right, and they said …
MB: He's the DJ yeah?
NG: Yeah, well, yeah he's a DJ.
MB: No I was in town to get the PSP [Playstation Portable], the new one so.
NG: OK, is it any good?
MB: The PSP, I never use it.
NG: Oh right.
NG: Erm [pause] is this true? I so want this to be true and … did your mum send you to John Lewis for an ironing board and you came back with a quad bike …
MB: Yeah that's true [both laugh]
NG: Yes. A quad bike, a scalextric and a tennis table?
MB: Yeah. No a tennis table no … the trampoline.
NG: Is it true that you went into a petrol station and paid for everybody's petrol …
MB: No that's not true, that's not true.
NG: I'm being crushed here, I'm being crushed, that's not true?
NG: OK. Did you drive round Manchester dressed as Santa Clause …
MB: [rolls eyes and smiles] NO [both laugh].
NG: Did you give a tramp a thousand pound after winning in a casino?
MB: Never [laughs].
NG: Good lord. Did you go to church on Christmas Eve?
NG: Did you put a thousand pound in the collection plate?
MB: No. I put … I don't know but not a thousand.
NG: Not a thousand? And then did you go to a pub in Wythenshawe and buy everybody a drink afterwards?
MB: No I didn't.
NG: OK. I wouldn't do that either to be honest, not in Wythenshawe.
On his disconnect with Jose Mourinho at Inter:
NG: And why do you think that Mourinho didn't believe in you?
MB: That's his problem.
NG: I'm glad he didn't because you're sat here now innit?
MB: They say he want to come here? But me with Mourinho? I think he's a great manager but he didn't understand me so he said that nobody can understand me but I think the only one that cannot understand me is him so it's his problem.
On his magic trick:
NG: Right. Where did you learn to do magic?
MB: Magic, it's one guy I don't know he's in Manchester no. I was in Trafford Centre and he came, he just show me tricks so one day I invited him to my house and he teach me something.
NG: So there's a guy in the Trafford Centre doing magic tricks and you said come and show me some stuff?
NG: To entertain your …
MB: Because we were like in 10 people me and my friends so you know the people that do magician no they cannot teach you.
NG: That's right they can't teach you.
MB: So I said to him, I took him alone and I say to him "listen I invite you to my house so you can teach me" and he say "OK".
NG: Nice. So how many tricks do you know?
MB: Err no just one.
NG: Just the one trick?
MB: Yeah but it's difficult.
NG: It's magic.
So, Mario reports that most of the tales are false, but he did lose his toilet(/bed?), he never uses his PSP and he likes to invite street magicians to his house. All together, the myth of Mario still seems pretty accurate.
- Mario Balotelli