Balotelli’s 5 Most Controversial Moments

We look back at the Man City striker's most divisive moments.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

As speculation surrounds Mario Balotelli's future with Manchester City and rumours persist that he is headed for AC Milan, we thought now is as good a time as any to highlight some of the controversial moments in the divisive striker's Premier League career.

Here are some of our favourite Balotelli moments, in no particular order.


Balotelli’s 5 Most Controversial Moments Rumble at the Training Ground

Balotelli started his 2013 predictably, becoming embroiled in a conflict with his Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini after flooring teammate Scott Sinclair at the club's Carrington training ground. Balotteli and Mancini reportedly almost came to blows after the 22-year-old took Sinclair out with a bad challenge, with Mancini later claiming that the incident was "nothing special". As much speculation surrounded the striker's future with the club at the beginning of the year, many suspected that the bust-up would've been the death knell for Balotelli's Premier League career, but Mancini later stated that he would give his fellow Italian "100 more chances" in order to help him learn from his mistakes.


Balotelli’s 5 Most Controversial Moments Head Shot

Balotelli raised the back of many a Tottenham fan last season, after seemingly intentionally stamping on Spurs captain Scott Parker's head. Although Balotelli's actions were deemed accidental by City fans, the footage appears to show him purposely laying his boot into Parker, who reportedly sustained a large cut following the incident. Balotelli received no punishment for his actions and went on to score the winning goal in the match.


Balotelli’s 5 Most Controversial Moments Major League Show-Off

Not content with dividing opinion in the UK, Balotelli made sure that fans in the US were left just as baffled by his eccentricity, after failing to score a trick shot in front of the goal in a match against LA Galaxy. Mancini promptly substituted him as Dzeko shouted what we can only imagine were some very choice words at his teammate.


Balotelli’s 5 Most Controversial Moments Throwing Darts

Millionaires have to keep themselves occupied somehow. Some insult their rivals with racist slurs. Others sleep with their teammates' wives. Balotelli, on the other hand, throws darts at Manchester City's youth players.

When it was revealed that Balotelli had been involved in some extra-curricular darts sessions using his potential future teammates as target practice, it seemed likely that he would receive a harsher punishment than a simple slap on the wrist, but as the darts fortunately didn't make contact 


Balotelli’s 5 Most Controversial Moments Why Always Him?

Manchester United's embarrassing 6-1 defeat to rivals Manchester City was intensified after Balotelli, celebrating scoring the first goal of the game, lifted up his shirt to reveal another shirt underneath it with the words 'WHY ALWAYS ME?' written across the front. The shirt was a knowing reference to the volume of controversy surrounding the striker, but his arrogant celebration still predictably raised the ire of many a United fan.

Photo: Getty Images