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Why always him?
It's 10 years to the day that Mario Balotelli asked the iconic question after playing a starring role in Manchester City's Old Trafford demolition job.
City thrashed Manchester United 6-1 a decade ago as they marched to their first-ever Premier League title.
It was Balotelli who led the line for City on that fateful afternoon, and the Italian remains one of the most controversial stars that the Premier League has ever seen.
Daily Star Sport takes a look back at his 10 wildest moments over the years in a career that has seen him enjoy spells at both AC Milan and Inter, as well as City's Premier League rivals Liverpool…
Why always me?
Balotelli's iconic celebration a decade ago is probably the first image that comes to mind when the maverick's name is mentioned.
The Italian netted a brace as City pumped their bitter rivals in a humbling defeat for Sir Alex Ferguson.
Edin Dzeko also grabbed two goals, with David Silva and Sergio Aguero also notching one apiece, as United's 'noisy neighbours' took over Old Trafford.
But Balotelli stole the show with his superb celebration, which was planned with kit man Les Chapman before the game.
“Mario pulled me to one side and said he wanted me to print something on his compression shirt for the game,” Chapman told The Athletic.
“I said, ‘Well, we can’t print anything controversial and we can’t print anything that’s going to be offensive to the United fans or anybody’. He thought for a minute or two. Then he came out with one or two things. I said, ‘No, Mario, no, I don’t think that’s appropriate’. And then he came out with it: ‘Why Always Me?’. As soon as he said it, I knew that was the one.”
What do you think is Balotelli's wildest moment? Let us know in the comments section below.
Just days before lighting up Old Trafford, Balotelli did the same with his very own home.
The striker set the place on fire after letting off fireworks in his bathroom, causing
Remarkably, just days after the incident, the Italian was appointed as Greater Manchester's fire safety ambassador.
"They can be very dangerous if they are not used in the right way," said the striker after insisting that it was a friend rather than him who set off the fireworks in his house.
"People should follow the firework code."
Balotelli v Mancini
Balotelli and Roberto Mancini, the manager who brought him to City, was the ultimate love-hate relationship.
Mancini spoke about Balotelli on numerous occasions, with the popular boss eager to get the striker to buckle down in his youth.
He once said back in 2012 that he "would need a psychologist" if he spoke to Balotelli every day and famously offered for the striker to come and stay with his own family to keep Balotelli out of trouble.
After a bust-up, the pair famously almost came to blows during a City training session in the past – a story confirmed by former City player Gareth Barry.
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“He was good fun. Mario was harmless,” Barry said to talkSPORT, regarding the images that made headlines around the world.
“He was an immature little rogue who liked messing around in training, getting in trouble, winding the manager up. You’ve seen the images of Mancini having him round the neck in training because he’s not listening."
Mancini also blew his top with Balotelli after he missed a ridiculous backheel in a pre-season friendly in Italy.
Punching a team-mate
Despite no longer being a household name, Balotelli has still been making headlines as recently as this year.
Back in August, the 31-year-old appeared to throw a punch at a team-mate after being hooked off.
Now playing in Turkey for Adana Demirspor, Balotelli was substituted on the hour mark and reacted angrily to being taken off.
He launched his shinpads on the ground before exploding in an angry tirade to a team-mate before throwing a punch at his pal on the bench.
Luckily, the Demirspor substitute seemed to take it in his stride – but it was another remarkable meltdown from the king of controversy.
Inter/AC shirt row
Very few players cross the Milan divide, but Balotelli is one of the few stars to have played for both AC Milan and Inter.
Balotelli has made no secret of the fact that he grew up an AC Milan fan, and his career at Inter was ended after he was caught on television happily donning a Milan shirt.
To be fair to Balotelli, on this occasion, he did seem to be under the impression that the cameras had stopped rolling.
But it very much set the tone for the rest of the striker's career. Even early on, life for Balotelli was never boring…
When it comes to Balotelli stories off the pitch, there can be few stories that top this one.
La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed that Balotelli and his younger brother, Enock, were arrested after being spotted wandering around a women's prison.
Explaining the situation, a prison officer Calogero Lo Presti explained, "It was 1600 when we saw a high-powered Mercedes come through the gate. Inside were two boys, after a few minutes we realised one of them was Balotelli.
"Physically we recognised him, but that is not enough, so we proceeded with official procedure. At the end they both appeared a bit frightened. They said they saw the gate opened and never imagined they would need a special permit to visit the prison. The two were particularly intrigued by the fact it was a women's prison.
"Balotelli has apologised. He spoke in a low voice, he was a little embarrassed."
Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, defended his client after the incident was made public – and bizarrely insisted that the Italian had been praised "for his initiative".
"Mario has done nothing wrong," he said. "Indeed, the officers have praised him for his initiative. Certainly they explained this could have been avoided, but it ended there."
Balotelli has struggled against just about everything at some stage in his career.
Whether that's falling out with managers, angering the fans or even his team-mates.
But the striker made headlines for his biggest struggle in football – getting a bib on.
Cameras caught Balotelli aimlessly wrestling to get a bib on, with the images becoming a viral sensation.
Luckily, help was on hand to save the Italian, who at least seemed to see the funny side as he tried to recreate the scenario in training at City.
"When I score, I don't celebrate because I'm only doing my job. When a postman delivers letters, does he celebrate?"
24 hours later, Balotelli became an instant viral hit by doing the very thing he'd pretty much sworn against the night before.
Despite insisting he shouldn't celebrate, the striker made an exception after netting Italy's second goal in a 2-0 win over Germany – sealing their spot in the final.
After dispatching a classic finish, Balotelli duly delivered one of his most iconic celebrations.
The John Lewis story
During his time with City, Balotelli's adoptive mother, Silvia, flew to Manchester to see her son's apartment.
After arriving, she gave Balotelli a shopping list of essential items to help him get his house into top shape.
Really, she should have known better.
The striker popped over to John Lewis – but he failed to return with the iron that his mum had requested.
Instead, Balotelli returned from his shopping spree with a giant trampoline and a quad bike.
My season was ****
Picture the scene – City have just beaten Stoke in the FA Cup final, with Balotelli putting in his best display of the season.
And Balotelli's verdict?
"All my season was ****. Can I say that?" quipped the playful ace with a mischievous grin.
The stunned interviewer was lost for words as Balotelli stole the show again with his cheeky remark.
Never change, Mario. Never change.
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