Category: Mario Balotelli

Young Kids Recreate Famous Soccer Photographs #BadBoysFC

From George Logan:

This was a personal project with photographer George Logan.

A series of lighthearted photos that recreate infamous footballing
moments, with kids. We wanted to ask whether a game that has
increasingly courted controversy over the years, with ever growing
salaries and celebrity lifestyles, is still creating the right role
models for Britain’s youth to copy.

What an idea! This guy has been getting a lot of press for these photographs and he deserves it. He took these pictures to convey a certain message and I could care less what that message is. I just find it hilarious seeing young kids recreating these pictures. The top picture is definitely the Mario Balotelli recreation. The real picture was ridiculous when it happened and it makes sense seeing a child recreate it. At least if a child had done it he could have been excused for his childish behavior. Mario Balotelli is just a child who never grew up.

h/t 8 by 8

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Mario Balotelli Non-Chalantly Rides Through Mall On His Segway

This video is making me crack-up. On the surface it’s not that funny. If anyone else was doing this it would barely even register. This isn’t anyone else though. This is Super Mario. Everything he does is whacky even if he doesn’t fully intend it to be. Now because of bereavement leave he has providing us entertaining videos like this while Ings and Origi prove their worth. From the looks of it he won’t be around for much longer. Part of me hopes he gets another chance though because the city of Liverpool won’t be the same without him.

Liverpool Fans Hold Back Mario Balotelli To Prevent Him From Getting A Red Card

It’s safe to say that by this point in the season it’s clear that the Balotelli experiment has failed. Many could say they saw this coming and it’s easy to see why. His style of play never looked like it would be compatible with Brendan Rodgers’ style of play and the dissenters were proven right. Balotelli is still a great player and he can be a real asset to the right team but Liverpool is not the team that he will succeed on.

The above gif perfectly summarizes the volatility of a player like Balotelli. Although he is capable of moments of brilliance he is also equally as capable of moments of sheer stupidity. When he is not playing well and he gets frustrated, the risk of him doing something stupid rises exponentially which is what we saw happen during the Liverpool-Manchester United game. Thankfully, the Liverpool fans were aware of the risk and took the unusual, but brilliant, step of holding back Balotelli. If he had gotten a red and Liverpool had to play down two men then the day could have gotten even more embarrassing for the Reds.

Mario Balotelli To Liverpool- Replacing The Zombie With Super Mario And Why It Might Be A Shrewd Move

According to recent reports Mario Balotelli to Liverpool is all but a done deal for a fee of 16 million pounds (20 million euros, $26.5 million). For those who remember Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool vehemently denied this possible deal about a month ago so it comes as a little bit of a surprise that this deal has come to fruition. However, the ending of the summer transfer window has a funny way of expediting seemingly dead deals and this is just one example of the many times teams have denied deals only to engage in them after their desperation had grown as the transfer window began to close. Liverpool have been in desperate need for a striker ever since Suarez had left and the recent Southampton game showed how frail they were up top. When they needed a second striker to bring on in the second half against Southampton they brought on Rickie Lambert ,who they only brought in as a a “Plan B” striker, in a situation where they didn’t need a “plan B” striker but a game changer.  It had become clear that they needed another striker to both team with Sturridge and back him up, as he has shown a propensity for injuries during his career.

There were quite a few names tossed around this summer such as Radamael Falcao, Samuel Eto’o, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Mario Balotelli, and Edison Cavani. Samuel Eto’o at 33 years old would be, at best, a bandaid in case Sturridge is ever injured. Radamael Falcao would have been a world-class player who would have demanded high wages and was rumored to only want a loan deal so he could jump to Real Madrid next season. Ezequiel Lavezzi is a wide attacking player which Liverpool do not need since they have Lazar Markovic and Raheem Sterling. Which would leave Edison Cavani and Mario Balotelli as the best two options for Liverpool. It seems as though Mario Balotelli is the cheaper option and AC Milan was more willing to let him leave which is probably why Liverpool went ahead and signed him. Liverpool cannot afford for the transfer window to end without them getting a high quality forward to pair with/backup Daniel Sturridge. Juventus was reportedly in the lead to sign Falcao and there were no guarantees PSG would let go of Edison Cavani because of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s recent injury. Therefore, in order for Ian Ayre to avoid the same criticism he faced when he missed on Yevhen Konoplyanka on the last day of the winter transfer window he needed to make sure he signed a quality striker before the transfer window closed. Mario Balotelli was the surest bet.

At 24 years old he has the youth that Liverpool seek in their transfer targets and has shown that he has the quality to step into the Premier League and score goals. The only knock on him, and it is a big one, is his immaturity and disciplinary problems. He was forced out of Manchester City by Roberto Mancini because he was fined so many times by the club and acted out too much. This is the main reason Liverpool fans are wary of this signing. Luiz Suarez was a huge headache because of his actions on the field and fans are fearful that Mario Balotelli will bring the same headaches and further sully the good name of Liverpool FC. The concern is a valid one but it is one that must be temporary ignored at this juncture. It is highly possible Mario Balotelli turns out to do more harm than good. Nevertheless, bringing him in is a necessary risk. At his price he is one of the cheaper top-tier strikers in the market, especially since he already has a proven track record in the English Premier League. That, coupled with the fact that Brendan Rodgers has shown that he is a good man manager, means that Liverpool and Rodgers may be able to get the best out of Mario Balotelli. If Liverpool cannot then they are buoyed by the fact that next year Divock Origi comes back from loan and they can get rid of Mario Balotelli. In order for Liverpool to achieve greatness this season they need another quality striker and they found that in Mario Balotelli. Now they just need to keep the ticking time bomb that is Super Mario from ever-exploding. For all of his disciplinary problems at least he never bit another player… three times.

Great Sports Illustrated Article On Mario Balotelli

Love him or hate him Mario Balotelli is here to stay. He is one of the world’s top class strikers and he only seems to be getting better. The only thing getting in the way of the love of international football fans is his personality. Mario is seen as too brash and cocky, the type of player who scores an away goal and makes a point of celebrating to incur the wrath of the home fans. When he opens his mouth you are just as sure to hear something infuriating as you are something insightful. However, Balotelli is a great footballer and although his past is no excuse, his life has not been all money, goals , and glory. He has endured significant hardship as well, including but not limited to, racism. Through all his experiences he has shaped a very eccentric personality that at times has negatively overshadowed how great he really is. This fantastic Sports Illustrated article takes a look into the mind and personality of Mario Balotelli and much like his performances on the pitch, it is fun experience.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/20130820/mario-balotelli/

January Transfers Already Paying Dividends

Rosters are officially locked in for the final 4 months of the football season.  The recent closing of the January transfer window provided the last opportunity for clubs to add quality to their rosters.  There wasn’t what some would consider a “blockbuster deal”.  There wasn’t a transfer fee over £20m and in today’s world of football economics, that is fairly tame to say the least.  However, that is not to say teams did not significantly improve their squads.  Here are a few of the most recent transfers that already could be considered successes.

Nacho Monreal – Malaga to Arsenal (£10m)

Some will say this was a reaction to the expected month without Kieran Gibbs due to a leg injury and that may be true, however Arsenal were in need of a much needed upgrade at the left back position.  Gibbs is a great young player, don’t get me wrong – he simply can’t stay healthy.  It just shows you how much of a need Monreal was to Arsene Wenger when he immediately thrust him into first team duty a day after signing to the club.  He answered the calling as he helped an inconsistent back 4 come away with a clean sheet against Stoke City on Saturday.  Granted, Stoke didn’t exactly provide the attacking prowess of a Manchester club, but that also hasn’t stopped Arsenal from giving up goals to lesser opponents either (see Swansea, Fulham, and the  Liverpool matches).  God only knows how many goals would have been conceded if Santos played an entire 90 minutes at left back.  Not only did Nacho provide some stability to the defense, he showed some skill on the ball going forward.  Many Arsenal supporters will argue Arsenal could have used another attacking signing or two, but it seems Arsene has once again found value in a quality player on deadline day.  (For a more in depth look at Arsenal, check out another recent blog post from kvenezia.)

Daniel Sturridge – Chelsea to Liverpool (£12m)

With the impending arrival of Demba Ba from Newcastle at the beginning of the transfer window, Chelsea suddenly had a surplus of attackers and Daniel Sturridge was the odd man out.  So he was abruptly shipped to Liverpool who were in dire need of an offensive spark.  Liverpool immediately saw glimpses of Sturridge’s potential as he scored a goal in each of his first 3 appearances for his new club.  His fourth and most recent goal tied up the match against Manchester City at 1-1 where the teams saw out a 2-2 draw.  They still haven’t beaten a team ahead of them in the standings; however, the last two matches could be considered statement matches for Liverpool.  A 2-2 draw against Arsenal and Manchester City may provide the confidence they need to finally push for a top 4 finish and Sturridge may very well be the attacker they were looking for to compliment Luis Suarez going forward.  You can’t ask for much more from a newly acquired player than to score 4 goals (2 Premier League/2 FA Cup) in his first 6 matches for his new club.  Daniel has already played more minutes for Liverpool in the last 6 matches than he did for Chelsea during the first half of the season.  It seems like this transfer was a win-win for both teams involved and it’s not very often that can be said.

Moussa Sissoko – Toulouse to Newcastle United (Undisclosed Fee)

With Demba Ba off to Chelsea, Newcastle had some cash to spend.  It took them a couple of weeks but they landed Moussa Sissoko a week before the window closed.  The 23 year old midfielder had been at French side Toulouse since he was a youth at just 13 years old.  So his switch to the Premier League should have required a bit of an adjustment period for Moussa considering the higher level of play in the Premier League.  He was also thrown into the starting lineup right away.  In his first Premier League match against Aston Villa, Moussa provided the assist to Papiss Cisse to open the scoring.  Newcastle ended up seeing out a 2-1 victory.  He followed up his good debut with an even better showing against Chelsea this past Saturday by scoring a brace in a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Blues.  Down 1-2, Moussa put in a rebound past Petr Cech to level up the score.   As extra time ticked on, Moussa took a pass at the top of the 18 yard box and fired a low line shot through the Chelsea defenders and past Cech again to win the match 3-2.  Moussa has shown that a Premier League “rookie” can step right in and provide a spark to a new club.  Newcastle can only hope he keeps up his form since joining the club.  (For more on Newcastle, check out another recent blog post from leftymagic.)

Mario Balotelli – Manchester City to AC Milan (£19m)

The highest profile and most expensive transfer of the January window was of course the Italian International and former Manchester City player Mario Balotelli to AC Milan.  Another deadline day deal that was thrown into the starting lineup following day, Balotelli had a marvelous debut for the club he supported as a youngster.  Milan knew they were getting a player with massive potential, but could he put his focus on the pitch to be the player everyone thinks he can be?  If his first match was any indication, it’ll be a fun ride for Milan and its supporters.  Against Udinese on Saturday, he volleyed home a beautiful side-footed goal from close range.  He followed that up with the match-clinching penalty kick in the93rdminute (see what I did there?).

For additional transfer saga reading, you’ll want to check out mcmigs’s take on the Wilfred Zaha transfer.

Picture Sources:

http://i1.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article1514808.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/%C2%A3%C2%A3%C2%A3+Daniel+Sturridge