Mario Balotelli signed for Manchester City in August 2010. The Italian was brought to the club by former manager Roberto Mancini after both parties worked together at Inter Milan. It was a tricky signing following the player’s poor disciplinary record in Italy. But the reunion left us with some indelible memories.
How can we ever forget the iconic moment at Old Trafford after scoring against Manchester United? Balotelli lifted up his jersey revealing an inscription on his inner t-shirt that read “WHY ALWAYS ME?”
He went on to explain that it was an attempt to silence his critics (especially in the media) whom he believes have been unfair in their criticism of his actions and performance on the pitch. The incident turned out into a media feeding frenzy that drew greater attention to the player, the club and the Premier League as a whole.
However, perhaps his most important action in a City shirt was his one and only assist in the Premier League. Martin Tyler’s commentary on Man City’s title-winning goal against Queens Park Rangers in 2012 will remain evergreen in the hearts of the club’s faithful.
His Aguerooooooo! yell and the immortal words that followed will forever stand out as iconic in the annals of Premier League football commentary. It will remain one of the league’s truly special moments.
But what has often been left out of the story is Balotelli’s superb pass to Sergio Aguero in the build up. The assist created the goal and made it possible for the Blues to beat Man United to the league title.
Balotelli turned 30 on the 12th of August. Although his career has not hit the heights reached while filing out for City, we can only wish him well. The Palermo-born forward scored 30 goals in 80 appearances for the Blues spread across three seasons.
He has gone on to represent AC Milan, Liverpool, Nice, Marseille and more recently Brescia afterwards. At the moment there are several transfer speculations on his next move.
He has been a man surrounded by controversy but no one can take away his accomplishments in the game so far.
Whatever the future brings for him, at City we will always remember his contributions for sure. It has been 10 years since “Super Mario” signed for Manchester City and seven since he left, but that assist is the main reason he will remain a hero at the Etihad Stadium.