After Milan lost 2-0 to title-chasing Roma on Friday, Mario Balotelli found himself in the spotlight once more. The former Manchester City forward, who once made the news for setting his own house on fire while playing with fireworks, demonstrated that his own fuse is still rather short. When pressed for comment on his performance during the match, Balotelli sniped back at reporters, eventually tossing down the microphone and walking away.
During the match in Rome, Balotelli had no shots on goal, a statistic unique for the forward. His biggest involvement came around the half-hour mark, when he swiped the ball from Leandro Castan, outran two Roma defenders and found himself in prime position to shoot. Instead Balotelli tried to be too tricky, and when he couldn’t get his shot off, collapsed under a slight touch. The referee waved away his antics, and Roma took the lead ten minutes later.
With Balotelli putting out such an uninspired performance, it was no surprise that Clarence Seedorf chose to replace him with Giampaolo Pazzini with twenty minutes left to go. There was no tantrum, no tears this time, but cameras did capture the Italian directing what appeared to be a few extremely annoyed words in the direction of his coach.
It was after the match that Balotelli’s temper emerged. When questioned as to why he didn’t move about the field more, he responded, “”You don’t understand anything about football. Trust me, you really don’t.” The forward, speaking to Sky Italia, continued, “You always talk and talk, but there’s no point to saying any of these things. No point at all.”
As if his words were not enough to indicate his frustration, to signal the conclusion of the interview, Balotelli threw down the microphone and walked away.