Sun Mar 27 05:47pm EDT
Remember when a remorseful Mario Balotelli admitted to Italian national team manager Cesare Prandelli last week that he "needs help" after being blamed for Manchester City's elimination from the Europa League for his chest-kicking red card against Dynamo Kiev? Well, it seems he still needs it. Or he was just joking.
According to The People and Soccernet, Balotelli threw darts in the direction of Man City youth team players through a first floor window at the club's training complex because he was "bored."
Thankfully, nobody was hurt by Mario boredom and the club told Soccernet that they view the dart throwing as "a misguided prank rather than a serious transgression." Still, a club spokesman also said that, "The matter will be dealt with internally." And by that they mean Ashley Cole will be brought in to shoot him with an air rifle.
UPDATE: Prandelli, who left Balotelli out of Italy's squad for violating the team's new code of ethics with that offense against Dynamo, thinks Mario just needs a few more hugs. From ESPN:
"Everyone is responsible for their own behaviour,'' Prandelli said. "Balotelli has to understand that with this type of behaviour, he is only hurting himself. We have sent him positive messages. I think he is struggling, he is in need of affection, being considered, and perhaps this is his way of expressing this need.'' [...]
"I want responsible players in my national team. The external episodes that surround Balotelli are annoying but this has happened in the past with other players so this is nothing new."
Some of those past "external episodes" that Prandelli finds annoying include: getting caught trespassing at a women's prison in Italy with his teenage brother, fighting with teammate Jerome Boateng on the training ground, and wearing an AC Milan shirt on Italian television while he was still playing for Inter Milan.
Of course, 20-year-old Mario has been subjected to a great deal of racist abuse while playing in his adoptive homeland of Italy, so Prandelli's affection theory could help him mature. Or maybe his former manager at Inter, Jose Mourinho, was right in saying that he's just unmanageable. Either way, he keeps things interesting.
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