If this is going to be what it’s like with the media as Mario Balotelli playing for Liverpool, consider us exhausted (and really not because of the player, rather his reputation).
First and foremost, let’s get this out of the way: Mario Balotelli didn’t kick anyone in the head. The unfortunate soul who Tweeted the above photo has come clean that it didn’t happen, and claims he only sent the photo. He didn’t say there was a head kick.
[ RELATED: Sturridge sent for scan, will at least meet friendly ]
But…. fake news!
Reports emerged on Friday that Balotelli was kicked out of a closed-door friendly against Wolves after either stomping on or kicking George Saville in the head. The media-buzzing world ran with it.
Here’s the problem: Balotelli was subbed out at halftime after being involved in a tough 50/50 challenge with Saville. It wasn’t unnecessarily dirty. There was no head-stomping, karate kicking or nuclear pile-driving.
And we don’t know if the plan was to play Balotelli a mere 45 minutes anyway.
But alas, we have this:
Mario Balotelli reportedly kicked a Wolves player in the head and got subbed off in a closed friendly today. pic.twitter.com/70HgI0ttVN
— Liverpool Data (@LiverpoolData) September 5, 2014
And in a separate Tweet, one that won’t be Retweeted nearly as often
We would like to stress these are unconfirmed reports and we’re just reporting what’s out there!! — Liverpool Data (@LiverpoolData) September 5, 2014
So, the math says more than 2300 RTs of the original Tweet and only one, single, solitary “totally unconfirmed” there. But, hey you’ve got a picture of a guy holding his head and a teammate talking to Balo. Run with it.
It’s going to be a long year, because there’s this:
Balotelli was involved in a strong 50-50 challenge with Wolves’ George Saville. He was then subbed after being spoken to by ref Chris Foy.
— David Anderson (@MirrorAnderson) September 5, 2014
Who to believe? Who to believe? Fake news… it’s just the best. Liverpool won, by the way, 1-0 on an Adam Lallana goal.