Balotelli-Why Me

Mario Balotelli. Why is it always Mario Balotelli?


When, for the love of all that is good, will Roberto Mancini learn that Mario Balotelli simply is not worth the trouble?

The volatile young striker is undeniably talented.  But is he really so talented, so indispensable to Manchester City’s championship defense and Champions League ambition that Mancini should tolerate all the attached drama, distraction and potential discord?

Absolutely not.

His latest stunt: Subbed out after 56 hum-drum minutes Saturday (and right after missing out on a chance from directly in front of goal), Balotelli sulked off the field, taking a long, slow, brooding walk of discontent before heading straight down the tunnel.

(By the way, he was taken off for Sergio Aguero, which isn’t exactly like being removed in favor of some 18-year-old fringe figure from the reserve squad.)

Mancini didn’t help matters, remaining seated and failing to so much as look Balotelli’s way rather than standing to extend a hand, as is customary.

Either way, rather than talking about a commanding afternoon from the champs, a comfortable 3-0 win over Sunderland, some of the focus is once again returned to Mr. “Why Always Me,” the man who keeps answering his own ridiculous question.

More on the match is here.

Just for fun – and because I cannot find a clip (not yet, anyway) of today’s silliness – here’s one of my personal, favorite Balotelli moments. This was also against Sunderland, by the way; something about those Mackems brings out the worst in him, apparently. It’s Balotelli fighting over a free kick with teammate Aleksandar Kolarov.

Absolutely ridiculous.

Bayern, Germany legend Gerd Muller suffering from Alzheimer’s

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY  01:  Gerd Muller during a media event discussing the Golden Boot comptetition in the FIFA 2010 World Cup held at the adidas Jo'bulani Central in Sandton Convention Centre on July 1, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Dominic Barnardt/Getty Images for adidas)
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Bayern Munich has confirmed that legendary goalscorer Gerd Muller is suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Muller’s 70th birthday is in November, and the club published a statement that no celebrations would be held due to his ongoing treatment.

One of the greatest strikers to ever play the game, Muller scored 525 goals during his 15-years with Bayern, the most in club history. Karl Heinze-Rummenigge is Bayern’s second leading goalscorer with 218 goals.

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Rummenigge currently serves as the club’s director, and spoke about Muller’s legacy.

Gerd Müller is one of the all-time greats of world football. Without his goals, Bayern Munich and German football would not be what it is today.

There will probably never be another goalscorer like Gerd, yet despite all his successes, he was always very humble and reserved, which particularly impressed me.

He was a fantastic team-mate and is a friend. Gerd will always enjoy a place in the Bayern family.

After he ended his playing career, he brought his experience as a coach of youngsters to the club, helping define the likes of world champions Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller, and we are also grateful to him for this.

Muller won the Golden Boot at the 1970 World Cup with ten goals, helping West Germany to a third-place finish. That same year he won the Ballon d’Or as the best player in the world, and helped the West German team capture the European Championship in 1972 and the World Cup in 1974.

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He is one of the top scorers in German national team history with 68 goals, second only to Miroslav Klose’s 71. However, Muller reached 68 goals in just 62 caps, while it took Klose 137 appearances to reach his mark. His 14 World Cup goals are third all-time to Klose (16) and Ronaldo (14).

Watch Live: USA looks to stay perfect against Panama

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 01:  The starting lineup from USA poses prior to the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying match against Canada at Sporting Park on October 1, 2015 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The United States U-23 team has gotten off to a great start in Olympic qualifying, winning their opening two matches by a combined score of 9-2.

Already into the semifinals, the U.S. faces Panama tonight in Colorado for a chance to stay perfect in Group A play. The U.S. needs a draw or a win to lock up the top spot in the group.

UPDATE: Due to Canada’s 2-2 draw against Cuba, the U.S. has clinched first place in Group A. 

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One of the keys to the United States’ success has been balance, as the team has nine goals from seven different players. Andreas Herzog’s side has also gotten off to quick starts in both matches, as Jordan Morris scored in the opening minute of play in a 3-1 win over Canada. Against Cuba, the U.S. had a 3-0 lead heading into halftime.

You can watch the match live on NBC Universo, or online by clicking the link below.

Group A — USA vs. Panama

When: 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colorado
Live Stream: Telemundo